Bill on Freedom of Assembly not Tightened – Azerbaijani Parliament Administration Head
Azerbaijan, Baku, 8 May / Trend corr. E.Babayev / Safa Mirzoyev, Head of Azerbaijani Parliament Administration does not agree with the statements by the opposition concerning tightening of the Bill on Freedom of Assembly.
"The Bill was democratized and currently meets modern standards. At the same time the police were commissioned with additional powers, the Head of Parliament Administration stated on 8 May.
The amendments and supplements were introduced in the Bill on 'Freedom of Assembly' after joint discussions between the Azerbaijani government and the Council of Europe Venice Commission. During the discussions the Venice Commission heard the proposals by the Azerbaijani opposition parties.
The opposition does not agree that parties should appeal to local bodies to sanction planned rallies. Gulamhuseyn Libayli, Chairman of the Popular Front party Supreme Assembly, stated to Trend that under the new Bill the police could disperse a rally at any time.
However, Mirzoyev denies the information that law enforcement bodies were commissioned with additional powers. Police will stop a rally from being staged if it is not agreed to with local bodies," Mirzoyev said.
The Bill states that any planned rally must not obstruct the free movement of citizens. "Local bodies can only propose an alternative venue in which to stage a rally. This is normal in world experience," Mirzoyev said.
The project on supplements and amendments in the Bill on Freedom of Assembly and Election Code were submitted to Parliament. The project is expected to be considered in May.
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