Azerbaijan to debate bill on 'Defamation'
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 1 / Trend , A.Huseynbala/
It is necessary to hold a dialogue between officials and journalists on the bill on 'Defamation', Chairman of the Azerbaijani Press Council told Trend on Sept. 1.
"This process should finish by including the bill in the Parliament's agenda," Chairman of the Press Council, Aflatun Amashov told Trend on Sept. 1.
The draft law on defamation was prepared with the support of the OSCE Baku Office in 2005. The working group designing the bill includes MPs Ganira Pashayeva and Azay Guliyev, representatives of journalist organizations and law scientists.
International organizations believe that Article 147 (defamation) and 148 (insult), which proposes criminal responsibility, should be removed from the country's Criminal Code.
Amashov said the bill on 'Defamation' was discussed at the event held in the Council of Europe (CE). "Regarding that we are part of Europe, it is necessary to adopt this law," said the chairman of the board.
Despite this, Amashov noted it is impossible to divulge a specific date for the discussions of the bill. "At present the research is conducted to reveal how the media and the public, mostly officials follow the requirements of the law on 'Defamation'. The general opinion is that it is inevitable for Azerbaijan to adopt this law," said Amashov.
According to the chairman of the Press Council, some measures should be taken before discussing this bill. "Before discussing this bill, a dialogue should be held between officials and journalists, as well as between journalists and the public. I believe that such events will be held in the autumn," said Amashov.
More than 3,300 media outlets were registered in Azerbaijan. Currently only 600 of them function. Nearly 400 newspapers and magazines are published and more than 20 television channels function. There are about 50 electronic media outlets, 20 news agencies, and the rest are the Internet resources in Azerbaijan.