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Human Rights Watch slams Myanmar's proposed curbs on interfaith marriage

Published on Mar 25, 2014 2:51 PM

YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar should scrap proposed restrictions on interfaith marriages, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday, warning that the "blatant discrimination" threatens religious freedom and women's rights.

Muslims, Christians and men of other minority faiths could face up to a decade in prison for marrying Buddhist women under a law being considered by parliament, according to the New York-based watchdog.

The country formerly known as Burma has been shaken by religious strife as it emerges from decades of oppressive military rule, with at least 250 people killed in Buddhist-Muslim clashes since 2012.

President Thein Sein, a former general turned political reformer, last month asked parliament to consider proposed intermarriage restrictions, after a campaign spearheaded by a hardline monk.

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