Top official says Azerbaijan needs to mull new draft law on defamation

Top official says Azerbaijan needs to mull new draft law on defamation

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 7

By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:

A free, pluralistic press, corresponding to world standards, has been formed in Azerbaijan, according Ali Hasanov, the head of Public and Political Issues Department of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration.

Hasanov made these remarks in an article published in a book, the publication of which has been timed to coincide with the conference titled 'Heydar Aliyev and a new model of society'.

The conference, which was held today, May 7, is organized by the ruling New Azerbaijan Party on the 91st anniversary of the birth of Azerbaijan's national leader Heydar Aliyev.

Hasanov noted in his article that considering the current conditions, the discussion and adoption of the new draft law on defamation, facilitation of journalists' activities and ensuring their full safety have been put on the agenda.

He noted that officials and the journalistic community, studying the developed democracies' experience in this area, are working together to implement this law in Azerbaijan.

"The state has created the necessary conditions for an independent and comprehensive development of the media. About 40 daily and over 200 weekly newspapers are published in the country," Hasanov underscored.

"More than 80 magazines covering the scientific and practical, socio-political, socio-economic issues, the problems of children and women, and entertainment, are published."

He also noted that about 20 news agencies in Azerbaijan are constantly covering the developments in the country and in the world.

"About 100 newspapers and magazines are published in the regions," Hasanov added.

He also said the scope of cable television's activities has also broadened in the recent years, adding that currently there are ten republic-wide, one satellite, 14 regional and 14 cable TV channels, as well as 14 radio stations in Azerbaijan.

Hasanov also stressed that in 2014 Azerbaijan will complete the transition to digital television.

"Over 50 journalism organizations are registered in Azerbaijan, and about 30 organizations are engaged in the development of freedom of speech and information, increasing the economic independence of the press, protection of journalists' rights, widening the media's possibilities in obtaining information, regulating the relationship between media and society and other issues," he noted.

Hasanov added that during the years of Azerbaijan's independence, the number of independent commercial companies engaged in distribution of print media has increased.

"Currently, there are 23 print media distribution companies in the capital and the regions," he noted.

Hasanov underscored that the state policy in the area of freedom of speech and information, development of independent media, strengthening the material and technical base, improvement of the journalists' professionalism and other areas, has quickly given positive results.

"Thus, since 2009 there haven't been any cases involving arrests of journalists for slander and insult, or in general in connection with professional activities," Hasanov noted.

Translated by E.A.

Edited by S.I.

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