Azerbaijani Parliament Committee head: Adoption of defamation law impossible in 2010

Azerbaijani Parliament Committee head: Adoption of defamation law impossible in 2010

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.4 / Trend , A.Huseynbala /

Azerbaijani Parliament's Committee chairman believes that adoption of defamation law in 2010 is impossible.

"Despite the fact that we will start discussions of the law 'On Defamation' in 2010, I don't believe that the parliament will accept it," Nizami Jafarov, Milli Majlis Culture Committee head, told Trend . 

Azerbaijani Press Council announced 2010 Year of Defamation.

The draft law was prepared in 2005 with the support of OSCE Office in Baku. The working group, who prepared the draft, includes MPs Ganira Pashayeva, Azay Guliyev, representatives of media organizations, as well as lawyers.

According to international organizations, articles 147 and 148, envisaging criminal responsibility for libel and insult, should be excluded from the Criminal Code.

In connection with the adoption of the draft law on defamation, six media organizations -Association of Azerbaijani Journalists, Najaf Najafov Foundation, Center for Journalism and Development, Association of Journalists "Yeni Nesil" (New Generation), Azerbaijani Media Center and Democratic Journalists League - have appealed to the parliament.

About 400 media representatives have joined the appeal. The draft law was examined by the OSCE.

According to Jafarov, bills submitted to Milli Majlis, have not been yet discussed at the Committee.

"After it we should discuss drafts in accordance with legislative procedure. I think that we can launch discussions over the defamation," the MP said.

According to him, even if the discussion of the drafts in the committee is finished, its adoption in parliament is impossible.

"Because this is a law that requires public debate, sometimes quickly adopted laws related to the press, are not justified. Given this, it is necessary to fully discuss all issues and take concrete decision," said Jafarov.

He said that many things depend on whether society and especially the press are ready to implement it.

About 4,000 media outlets are registered in Azerbaijan. At the moment, only 600 of them operate. About 400 newspapers and magazines are published. Eight TV channels, 14 regional TV and 13 cable televisions channels operate. There are approximately 50 electron media outlets, about 20 news agencies and internet resources in Azerbaijan.

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