Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 25 / Trend T.Hajiyev /
The International Press Institute will assist in developing the defamation law in Azerbaijan, Director of the International Press Institute Allison Bethel said a press conference.
"During the meeting with the chairman of the Press Council, we asked for a primary version of the draft bill on defamation. We will provide Azerbaijan with necessary assistance to bring this law in compliance with international standards," Bethel said.
He said that when the delegation of the International Press Institute met with the head of the public policy department at the Presidential Administration Ali Hasanov, the head of the department said that the law on defamation is expected to be adopted in Azerbaijan this year.
"In total, we think the work done by the Azerbaijani government in adopting the law of defamation as satisfactory," Bethel said.
A draft law on defamation was prepared in 2005 with the support of the OSCE Baku Office. The working group that prepared the draft included MPs Ganira Pashayeva and Azay Guliyev, media representatives and lawyers.
According to international organizations, articles in the Azerbaijani Criminal Code that envisage criminal responsibility for libel and insult should be excluded from the legislation.
Six media organizations asked parliament to adopt a law on defamation in May 2009 - the Association of Azerbaijani Journalists, the Najaf Najafov Foundation, the Center for Journalism and Development, the Yeni Nesil Association of Journalists, and the Azerbaijani Media Center and Democratic Journalists League. Later about 400 media representatives joined the appeal.
The draft law has been studied by the OSCE.
Bethel said that the level of journalism in Azerbaijan is high.
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