Azerbaijani MPs – for journalists' not-involvement into crime responsibility due to occupational activity

Politics Materials 2 June 2009 14:21 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijani MPs – for journalists' not-involvement into crime responsibility due to occupational activity

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 2 / Trend , A.Huseynbala/

The Azerbaijani parliamentarians offer to discuss the Bill on Defamation under definite conditions.

"The bill must include the experience of the democratic countries, as this is innovation for Azerbaijan," Member of the governing New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) Political Council and Parliamentarian Aydin Mirzazade told Trend on June 2.

The Bill on Defamation was prepared with the support of OSCE and by MPs Ganira Pashayeva, Azay Guliyev, representatives of journalist organizations and lawyers in 2005.

International organizations say the articles 147 (slander) and 148 (insult) envisaging criminal responsibility must be withdrawn from the Penal Code. 

Over 3,300 media outlets are registered in Azerbaijan. Only 600 of them are operating currently. There are nearly 400 newspaper and magazines and 20 television channels. There are about 50 electronic media outlets and 20 news agencies. The remaining are internet resources.

Mirzazade said the bill must not comprise the opinions of separate groups or individuals as a common will. "To prevent this, the bill must be comprehensively studied and all parties' opinion must be made public after discussions," the member of the governing party said.

The NAP was established by Nakhchivan Parliamentary Speaker Heydar Aliyev in 1992.

President Ilham Aliyev is the party's chairman. The party has ruled the country for 16 years.

"Definite steps must be taken to prevent journalists' involvement into responsibility due to insignificant cases in Azerbaijan," Chairman of the Civil Solidarity Party and Parliamentarian Sabir Rustamkhanli told Trend on June 2.

Rustamkhanli said if the Bill on Defamation comprises these issues, it will be necessary to discuss this. "On the contrary, I am against of adopting bills that restrict journalists' rights and make them unprotected," Rustamkhanli said.

The Civil Solidarity Party was founded September 1992 by a group of intellectuals under leadership of Sabir Rustamkhanli, one of the leaders of the National Freedom Movement. The party took part in the 1995, 2000, 2005 parliamentary elections, 2003 presidential election and 1999 and 2004 municipal elections. Azerbaijan national poet, MP Sabir Rustamkhanli was Azerbaijani Press and Information Minister from 1991 to 1995 and ran for presidency in 2003.   

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