Negotiations to Improve Freedom of Assembly Bill Completed

Politics Materials 7 January 2008 15:09 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. S.Ilhamgizi / The project of supplements and amendments to the bill on Freedom of Assembly has been developed and will be submitted to the Milli Majlis (Azerbaijani Parliament) for ratification, MP Chingiz Askarov, a member of the Governmental Task Group and representative of the Presidential Administration, stated.

According to Askarov, negotiations between Azerbaijan and the Venice Commission have ended. The proposals submitted for consideration have been agreed.

Changes have been injected into all points of the bill, Askarov said. The bill was improved and meets European standards.

"All proposals made by the Venice Commission have been taken into consideration in the project. The bill on Freedom of Assembly will completely meet European standards," Askarov noted.

Under the bill on Freedom of Assembly, Azerbaijani citizens should inform executive bodies about their plans to stage a rally. However, unsanctioned rallies are dispersed by police in Azerbaijan.

Askarov said that the point including citizens having to inform executive bodies about possible rallies but there is no need for permission to stage a rally was kept in the new bill. 

The Baku Executive Power does not allow the staging of rallies in big parks and squares in Baku, as well as in the front of many state bodies. The new bill envisages limits to assembly in case of emergencies, Askarov noted.

The project will be submitted to the Parliament by the spring session.

According to the media, representatives of the Venice Commission will come to Baku in February and the bill on Freedom of Assembly will be re-considered. However, Askarov in turn stated that negotiations had been completed and all proposals agreed.

The Azerbaijani Government and Venice Commission held negotiations in order to improve the bill on Freedom of Assembly. Representative of the Venice Commission Simona Granata-Mengini stated in an interview with Trend that if the Azerbaijani Parliament passes the new project, the bill on Freedom of Assembly will meet European standards. The Venice Commission proposed to include in the bill places where people may stage a rally without the permission of state bodies.