Azerbaijan, Baku, May 6 / Trend T.Hajiyev /
Baku hosted discussions on a defamation bill with the organizational support of the Press Council and the OSCE Baku Office.
Press Council Chairman
Aflatun Amashov said the bill was prepared by the Council with experts at the OSCE Baku Office and in accordance with modern requirements.
Amashov said the bill consists of five parts and 12 articles.
OSCE Baku Office representative
Jacqueline Carpenter stressed that they are satisfied with cooperation with the Press Council.
"We have made suggestions on the bill. We would like to see our proposals discussed by the Azerbaijani public. We hope that public debate will continue after the introduction of the bill to the parliament," Carpenter said.
Press Council member and Azerbaijan newspaper's chief editor
Bakhtiyar Sadigov said that though he earlier opposed the bill, now he supports its adoption.
"The situation with freedom of speech has improved in the country in recent years. Anyone can establish a newspaper. I will note one more thing: if ten years ago opposition newspapers dared to publish abuse and insults, now they stopped it," Sadikhov said.
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.