AMENDMENTS AND CHANGES TO LEGISLATION RESTRICTING MASS MEDIA’S ACTIVITY ADOPTED

February 12th, 2010
Today, 12 February, amendments and changes to the law “On Mass Media,” “On Freedom of Information,” “On operational-investigation activities,” “On intelligence and counter-intelligence activity,” and “On Obtaining information” were adopted in the meeting of Milli Majlis, according to APA.

During the discussions MPs Panah Huseyn and Igbal Agazade said that amendments and changes proposed to the laws serve to strangle freedom of press, according to information.
P.Huseyn stated that he will appeal to court regarding this law. The First Deputy Chief of the Parliament Ziyafat Asgerov and MPs Gudrat Hasanguliyev and Bakhtiyar Sadigov said that amendments and changes to laws have significant importance. The amendments and changes to laws were adopted after the discussions with seven people voting against them.
On 21 December 2009, Azerbaijan Republic President Ilham Aliyev sent a legislative proposal to Azerbaijan Republic Milli Mejlis (Parliament) regarding amendments to laws “On Mass Media”, “On Freedom of Information”, “On Obtaining information”, “On Operational-investigation Activities” and “On Intelligence and anti-intelligence.” The following amendments were proposed to the laws:
“Excluding operational-investigation cases, following someone, and subjecting them to video, photo or voice recording by media representatives and other persons without them knowing it or with them objecting to it is punishable as defined by law”
The representatives of NGOs and media operating in Azerbaijan issued statements denouncing this negative and anti-democratic draft law and addressed an appeal to the president to call it off.