INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS` FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

December 30th, 2009
The Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety is deeply concerned about the decree signed by President Ilham Aliyev regarding the execution of law that envisages changes and amendments to several legislative acts.

On 25 December, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree regarding changes and amendments to several decrees related to the application of Azerbaijani Republic Law “On Amendments and Changes to Several Legislative Acts of Azerbaijan Republic” #842- III QD, dated 30 July, 2009. According to this decree, operations cannot be conducted regarding agreements on giving or receiving unregistered grants.
IRFS assesses the inclusion of this item in the legislation as a step to restrict the activity of NGOs.

According to the previous rules, the NGOs had to inform the Justice Ministry regarding grants they received. According to the changes, the Justice Ministry has to grant permission to NGOs to use the grants they receive. This means the Justice Ministry has legal opportunity to restrict the activity of NGOs through leaving them without financial aid. Another alarming nuisance here is that there’s no item in the decree to point out the results that the refusal of grant registration will originate.

IRFS demands that Azerbaijan’s government avoid taking steps to restrict the work of NGOs. IRFS demands that the items restricting the activity of NGOs in the decree be annulled.  

IRFS calls upon international community to pay attention to this issue and to denounce Azerbaijan’s government for taking similar steps.