ALI HASANOV EXPRESSES OPINION ON APPOINTMENT OF PRESS OMBUDSMAN AND CHANGES TO LAW ON NGOS

June 15th, 2009
Presidential Administration Socio-political Department Head Ali Hasanov has expressed his position on the proposed changes and amendments to Law “On Non-governmental Organizations (Public Unions and Foundations)” that will be discussed during an extraordinary session of the Milli Mejlis (parliament) on 19 June 2009.

According to APA, A.Hasanov said that the proposed changes correspond to international standards; “If foreign NGOs were able to freely operate in Azerbaijan before, now they will be able to operate on the basis of inter-country contract envisaged in the law and this is normal. The proposed changes meet international standards,” said A. Hasanov, adding that he does not understand the concerns created in connection with proposed changes and additions to the law.
“The proposed changes do not create any problems for the existing NGOs; they have been registered and continue operating according to the current legislation,” emphasized A. Hasanov. “Strengthening of interstate relations is also considered in the changes. Therefore there are no grounds for concern. We can have discussions in connection with this issue if anyone has concrete discontent or concerns.”
Answering journalists’ questions regarding the proposal for the appointment of press ombudsman in accordance with Azerbaijan law on Access to Information, Ali Hasanov said that, the press does not need an ombudsman.
"The Press Council was formed during a general congress of journalists. The Chairman and administrative personnel of the Council have been elected during the congress. In such a situation, there is no need to appoint a separate press ombudsman,” said A. Hassanov, emphasizing that this issue will be considered when the Azerbaijani journalists think a special ombudsman is needed.