AZERBAIJAN REFUSES TO CREATE MEDIA OMBUDSMAN’S OFFICE

December 21st, 2010
The plenary session of  Azerbaijani Parliament held on 20 December adopted the  , amendments and annexes to the to the constitutional law on Azerbaijan’s Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman), Turan reports. The project was presented by chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy and State Building Ali Huseynov.

Huseynov made serious attempts to justify the draft amendments and annexes as they were submitted by the President. According to him, Law on the right to obtain information also implied the establishment of media ombudsman’s office. He said, however, there was no need for establishment of such a mechanism. “This body can be combined with the present ombudsman’s office. It would be better to transfer media ombudsman’s powers to current ombudsman. I suppose, current Ombudsman has a great experience and thus is able to fulfill the function of media ombudsman as well. ”
Parliamentarian Elmira Akhundova supported the establishment of a seperate media ombudsman office. According to her, current ombudsman has too much duties and on the other hand, media ombudsman duties are specific.
Vice-Speaker Bahar Muradova noted that there are separate ombudsman offices for separate spheres in various countries. “We support the implementation of the Ombudsman's activities through coordination. In other words, the same person can fulfill the duties of information ombudsman and human rights ombudsman," she said.
The project was adopted with 111 votes for and 1 vote against.