Expats in Azerbaijan to be Enabled to Hold Mass Demonstrations
Azerbaijan, Baku, 15 May / Trend corr I. Alizade/ According to the supplements and changes made in the Law on Freedom of Assembly, foreign citizens residing in Azerbaijan will be enabled to hold demonstrations in the country. "In a range of European countries foreign citizens still do not have right to hold mass actions. Azerbaijan offering this right to expats leaves Europe behind," Latif Huseynov, Azerbaijan's representative in the Venice Commission of the Council o Europe (CE), said at the joint meeting of the standing parliamentary commission on human rights and standing parliamentary commission on policy of law & state building on 15 May.
The meeting discussed the project on supplements and changes in the Law on Freedom of Assembly.
The Law on Freedom of Assembly was passed in Azerbaijan in 1998. Development of draft supplements and changes commenced in 2005. The Venice Commission positively assessed the supplements and changes offered in December 2007.
Huseynov said that offering to expats the right to hold mass actions corresponds with international norms. "The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe gave recommendations in this connection which Azerbaijan accepted."
The chairman of the pro-governmental Ana Vatan party MP Fazayil Agamali voiced his protest against offering right to hold mass demonstrations to expats. Agamali said that this right will enable foreign countries to meddle with Azerbaijan's interior affairs.
The head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Safa Mirzayev said that the society is developing, so there is necessity to make changes in laws. "Offering to expats the same rights as that of Azerbaijani citizens is normal. It must not cause scare," Mirzayev said.
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