OSCE: Azerbaijan will adopt law on defamation
Kazakhstan, Astana, Dec. 1 / Trend A.Maratov /
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, expressed confidence that Azerbaijan will soon adopt a law on defamation - the elimination of criminal penalties for slander.
The law on defamation may be included in the agenda of the spring session of the Azerbaijani parliament.
A draft law on defamation was prepared in 2005 with the support of the OSCE Baku Office. The working group that prepared the draft included MPs Ganira Pashayeva and Azay Guliyev, media representatives and lawyers.
According to international organizations, articles in the Azerbaijani Criminal Code that envisage criminal responsibility for libel and insult should be excluded from the legislation.
Six media organizations asked parliament to adopt a law on defamation in May 2009 - the Association of Azerbaijani Journalists, the Najaf Najafov Foundation, the Center for Journalism and Development, the Yeni Nesil Association of Journalists, and the Azerbaijani Media Center and Democratic Journalists League. Later about 400 media representatives joined the appeal. The draft law has been studied by the OSCE.
Mijatovic said Armenia has recently adopted a similar law.