Opposition MP Group Again Develops Changes in Law on Freedom of Assembly
Azerbaijan, Baku, 4 June / Trend corr I. Alizade/ The Musavat MP group, representing opposition in the Azerbaijani Parliament, has again developed draft changes in the Law on Freedom of Assembly. "There are gaps in the Law on Freedom of Assembly which restricts citizens' right of freedom of assembly," Panah Huseyn, a member of the Musavat MP group, said to Trend on 4 June.
On 30 May, the Azerbaijani Parliament approved changes and supplements into the Law on Freedom of Assembly. Currently operated Law on Freedom of Assembly was passed in 1998. In 2005, development of a draft law to make changes and supplements into the Law was commenced. The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe (CE) positively assessed the project designed by the Azerbaijani Government.
According to the changes in the Law, people who are residing in Azerbaijan but are not the citizens of the country, as well as foreign citizens, can hold mass actions. Moreover, wedding, other ceremonies and funerals must not be turned into mass actions. The distance to be kept from the state bodies during the mass actions has been reduced from 300m to 200m. Organizers of mass actions must apply to the city or regional administrations five days before the action. The administrations should respond organizers three days before the fixed data. The courts should examine the complaints on staging demonstrations in the course of two days.
Mass actions may be held only in the places allowed by administration.
"The project developed by the Musavat MP group has an article allowing holding mass actions in the places not specially banned by administration," Huseyn said.
Huseyn said that the project envisages enhancement of the places allowed for rally marches.
MP noted that in their project they changed the mechanism of responding to organizers of mass actions by administration. "Administration must respond to organizers three days before fixed date. Our project envisages responding two days after submission of appeal to administration," Huseyn said.
The project will be submitted to the Parliament in the near future.
The Musavat MP group is represented by 5 members in the parliament.
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