Further legal restrictions on media

December 3rd, 2015

 

On December 2, the Committee on Legal Policy and State Building and the Committee convened to discuss several bills, including the draft law on the fight agains. The draft law specifies some prohibitions for journalists in article 9, which concerns informing the public about special operations against religious extremism.

 

Article 9 of the bill provides that:

 

9.1. The activity of mass media workers in the area where a special operation against religious extremism is conducted shall be determined by the agency in charge of the operation.
9.2. Information about a special operation conducted against religious extremism shall be provided to the public in the manner and amount specified by the agency in charge of the operation.
9.3. Dissemination of the following information shall not be allowed:
9.3.1 information on the tactics and technical methods of conducting special operations against religious extremism;
9.3.2 information endangering the lives and health of people within and beyond the area, in which a special operation is conducted against religious extremism, or hindering the conduct of special operations against religious extremism;
9.3.3 information justifying or promoting religious extremism;
9.3.4 information on the persons participating in or assisting to special operations conducted against religious extremism.
9.4. Employees of mass media outlets shall bear responsibility for the dissemination of the information specified in Article 9.3 of this Law.

 

The responsibility mentioned in the law can be administrative, civil or criminal.

 

The meeting agreed to recommend this bill for consideration at the plenary session of the Parliament.

It is no coincidence that access to the islamazer.az website, which primarily focuses on religious issues, was blocked from inside the country a few days ago, and its Facebook page hacked. Ilkin Mammadli, the acting editor of another website disseminating religion-related news, has been arrested and sentenced to 22-days’ administrative detention.