June 30th, 2009
Today, 30 June, the Civil Society Defense Committee (CSDC) conducted a meeting in the Azerbaijan Media Center in connection with the amendments and changes made to the Azerbaijan Republic’s Law on Non-governmental Organizations. Expressing their hopes that these changes will not destroy NGOs, they emphasized that these changes will not have any effect in the development of the NGOs either.

Working Group member Gubad Ibadoglu said that the objectionable changes to the legislation failed due to the hard work of the Committee.
Noting the importance of regular activity in this sphere, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Emin Huseynov evaluated this as the initial victory.
Another member of the working group Ilgar Mammadov said that the danger has not subsided yet, and discussions will be hold until fall. The changes will obstacle the work of foreign organizations and the creation of new funds.

Haji Ibrahim Ibrahimoglu noted that the first victory shouldn’t make them sit back reminding the meeting participants the government’s attempts to restrict religious freedoms recently.
During today’s meeting of Milli Mejlis several changes considered to be added to law on NGOs, which would limit their activity, have been removed; however, articles 10.4 (After a public union receives state registration, it must within 30 days ensure creation of registry of its members and present information about the registry of its members to relevant executive authority within 15 days. Public union must within 15 days provide information to the relevant executive authority about changes made to membership registry), 12.1-1 (During the creation of a foundation, its authorized capital cannot be less than 50,000 AZN), 12.3 (Non-governmental organizations that endanger the foundations and security of the state constitution or public safety, promote racial, national or religious discrimination, or insult morality cannot be created) and 31.2-1 (For failure by legal entities to provide necessary information for the state registry or the presentation of incorrect information the non-governmental organization shall be warned) have been adopted.