Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr S. Ilhamgizi / The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) criticized Azerbaijani Government due to its Law on Defamation and the Election Code, a member of Azerbaijani delegation to PACE visiting Paris, Gultakin Hajiyeva, said to Trend.
Azerbaijan's obligations to CE were discussed at the meeting of the PACE Monitoring Committee held in Paris on 12 September.
Both positive views and criticism was voiced at the Azerbaijan-related discussions, Hajiyeva reported. According to the members of the Monitoring Committee, it is important to intensify cooperation with Azerbaijan. In their opinion, upcoming presidential elections should become another step to democracy and at most correspond to European standards.
The Monitoring Committee also criticized punishment of journalists due to slander and offence. Importance of adoption of the Law on Defamation was noted. "The members of the Committee noted that there are items in the legislation of CIS countries, as well as a range of European countries, envisaging criminal answerability of journalists for slander and offence. But CE's approach implies only civil answerability for offence and slander. In these terms, Azerbaijani legislation should be improved," Hajiyeva said.