The law On defamation in Azerbaijan is currently inaccurate, the Head of the Public Relations Department of the Azerbaijani President's Apprat, Ali Hasanov, stated on 10 October in Baku at the conference organized by OSCE, Trend reports.
He considers that the law should first be implemented in developed countries. Primarily the European countries should adopt this law, where the understanding of the journalist responsibilities has been formed, the moral codex of journalists exists and their status has been defined. But should the European countries adopt it as a charter, then Azerbaijan, as a member of the Council of Europe, will also join it, Hasanov said.
In turn, the OSCE Commissioner for Freedom of Speech, Miklosh Harashti, stressed that the articles specifying the criminal responsibilities for Freedom of Speech should be taken out of the Criminal Code. He considers that each citizen has the right for Freedom of Speech. Journalists should not be regarded as criminals which causes major disputes in society. Any disputes linked with journalists should be resolved through the civil court, he added.
The Special Envoy of the Council of Europe in Azerbaijan, Denis Bribosia, stressed that Freedom of Speech is most important. He emphasized that journalists need support, but not sanctions. In addition, Bribosia recalled the challenge of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Terri Davis for CE member countries to liquidate the punishment for Freedom of Speech.