Group of Opposition MPs Work out Draft Changes to Law on Freedom of Assembly
Azerbaijan, Baku, 21 January / corr Trend I. Alizade/ The MP group of Musavat, which represents the opposition in the parliament of Azerbaijan, has worked out draft changes to the Law on Freedom of Assembly. "Currently negotiations are held between the Azerbaijani Government and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe on the changes to the Law on Freedom of Assembly. We plan to bring up the draft for discussions at the spring session of Milli Majlis," Panah Huseyn, the member of the Musavat MP group said to Trend on 21 January.
Recently, there have been serious problems in holding demonstrations in Azerbaijan. The executive of Baku has allocated four venues for the demonstrations. But recently the demonstrations are allowed to be held only in Bibiheybet. The international organizations and the opposition of Azerbaijan demand that the changes should be made to the Law on Freedom of Assembly.
"Article No. 49.1 of the Azerbaijani Constitution says that the mass demonstrations can only be held by giving prior notice to theexecutive powers. Later the Law on Freedom of Assembly was adopted in that the executive powers must respond to the demonstration organizers within two working days, and the demonstration must be held in place coordinated with the executive power. This law violates the article of the Constitution on Freedom of Assembly and therefore must be changed," Huseyn said.
According to Huseyn, the article which says that the executive powers must respond to the demonstration organizers within two working days should also be changed, since it creates serious setbacks in holding the demonstrations: "The organizers fix a date for the demonstration and inform the public of the date, make preparations and within two days it turns out that the executive power do not give permission," he said.
The article regarding the venue of the demonstration must also be changed. The demonstration participants have plans to hold it in a place of their choosing, but the executive power proposes a completely different venue in the capital: "According to the Constitution, places must be allocated in all the cities and regions of Azerbaijan for the mass meetings. Four places have been allocated in Baku for that, but every one of them is in a poor condition. We will try to solve this problem within the draft changes, Huseyn said.
Musavat's MP Group includes five members.