New Bill on Freedom of Assembly to be Discussed in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, 12 May / corr. Trend I. Alizade/ The Parliament of Azerbaijan is going to discuss a new Bill on the Freedom of Assembly.
"The Bill will be introduced to the standing parliament commission on human rights for discussions next week. The discussions are expected to be held on 19-20 May," Rabiyat Aslanova, the chairman of the Standing Parliament Commitee on Human Righst said to Trend on 12 May.
A new Bill on Freedom of Assembly has been drafted by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe together with the Azerbaijani government, and was introduced to the Azerbaijani parliament for discussions last week.
The Azerbaijani opposition and international organizations protest against the article of the new Bill which prohibits mass demonstrations in front of city and regional administrative bodies.
The opposition also protests against article of the new bill which says a permission to hold a demonstration to be granted by local administrative bodies. Gulamhuseyin Alibayli, chairman of the Supreme Majlis of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan said to Trend that the police have been granted a new authority in the new Bill - a right to interrupt the demonstration.
The head of the administration of the Azerbaijani parliament Safa Mirzayev denied new additional authorities for the law-enforcement bodies. "The Bill envisaged it earlier. But if the demonstration is unauthorized, the police will disperse it," he added.
According to Mirzayev, the Bill says that the demonstrations should not hinder free movement of citizens. "The local administrative bodies can offer parties an alternative venue. It is considered to be normal in practice," he said.
According to Aslanova, the Bill will be introduced to the parliament for discussion as soon as the discussions begin in the Committee. "The parliament is expected to pass a new Bill in May," she said.
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