NEGATIVE CHANGES PROPOSED TO LEGISLATION

February 10th, 2010

                                                                                                AZERBAIJAN REPUBLIC LAW 

 

Regarding amendments and changes to Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Freedom of Information”, Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Operational-investigation Activities”, Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Mass Media”, Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Intelligence and counter-intelligence”, Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Obtaining information”  

Azerbaijan Republic Milli Mejlis (Parliament) decides:

         1. The Sixth item should be added to article 14 of the Azerbaijan Republic Law (Legislative Collection of Azerbaijan Republic, 1988, #9, article 561; 2004, #3, book 1, article 133; 2003, #4, article 178; 2004, #3 article 133) “On freedom of information” in the following content:

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.

         2. III item should be added to  article 21 of the Azerbaijan Republic Law (Legislative Collection of Azerbaijan Republic, 1999, #11, article 612; 2002, #5, article 250, #6, article 328, 2004, #3, article 133; 2005, #12, article 1079; 2006, #2, article 64, #11, article 933, #12, article 1005; 2007 #6, article 560) “On Operational-Investigation Activities” in the following content:

“III. Excluding the application of operational-investigation measures in accordance with this Law by subjects of operational-investigation activities, 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.”
 

           3. Second item should be added to article 60 of the Azerbaijan Republic Law (Legislative Collection of Azerbaijan Republic), 2000, #2, article 82; 2001, #12, article 736; 2002, #3, article 116, #5, article245; 2004, #2, articles 57, 58; 2005, #4, article 278; 2007, #8, article 752, #11, article 1079) “On Mass Media” in the following content:

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.

         4. Article 4.6 should be added to the Azerbaijan Republic Law (Legislative Collection of Azerbaijan Republic, 2004, #8, article 601; 2006, #2, article 64, #3, article221) “On intelligence and anti-intelligence” in the following content:

      “4.6. Excluding the realization of cases of intelligence activities considered in this Law by the subjects of intelligence and counter-intelligence activities, 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.”

         5. Following change and addition should be made to the Azerbaijan Republic Law (Legislative Collection of Azerbaijan Republic, 2005, #12, article 1080) “On Obtaining information”:

Articles 6.0-6.0.11 should be considered 6.1-6.1.11 accordingly and article 6.2 should be added in the following content:  

“6.2. Excluding operational-investigation cases, following someone, and subjecting them to video, photo or voice recording by media representatives without them knowing it or with them objecting to it is punishable as defined by law.”
 

                                                                 President of Azerbaijan Republic

Regarding amendments and changes to Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Freedom of Information”, Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Operational-investigation Activities”, Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Mass Media”, Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Intelligence and- anti-intelligence”, Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Obtaining information”    
 

R E F E R E N C E

          1. Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Freedom of Information”

 
                                                 Article 14
 
Original variant     Proposed variant
Article14. A person’s right to be familiarized with the information collected about himher

Information about a person is collected as defined by law. Collecting information by deceiving, threatening and by other illegal means is forbidden.

Except information obtained during operational-investigation activities as defined by law and information collected regarding investigation of criminal case, a person has the following rights regarding the information gathered about himher:

To be familiarized with the information collected about himher;

To know how, by whom and for what the information about himher is used during the gathering of information;

To demand to make sure the information is accurate;

Outsiders are not allowed to obtain information collected by state organs gathered in accordance with the legislation.

Information about persons can not be held for more than the necessary period as defined by the legislation for legal purposes.

To use technological means to obtain information, control mails and telegraphs, listen to telephone conversations secretly in the cases not considered by the legislation are forbidden.
    Article14. Person’s right to be familiarized with the information collected about himher

Information about person is collected as defined by law. Collecting information by cheating, threatening and by other illegal means is forbidden.

Except information obtained during operational-investigation activities as defined by law and information collected regarding investigation of criminal case, person has the following rights regarding the information gathered about himher:

To be familiarized with the information collected about himher;

To know how, by whom and for what the information about himher is used during the gathering of information;

Demand for making accuracy in the information;

Outsiders are not allowed to obtain information collected by state organs gathered in accordance with the legislation.

Information about persons can not be held for more than the necessary period as defined by the legislation for legal purposes.

To use technological means to obtain information, control mails and telegraphs, listen to telephone conversations secretly in the cases not considered by the legislation are forbidden.

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.
 

II. Azerbaijan Republic Law “On Operation-investigation activities’
 

                                                         Article 21
 
Original variant     Proposed variant
Article 21. Responsibility for the violation of law during the realization of operational-investigation activities

1. Persons who carry out and are trusted to carry out the organization and realization of operational-investigation activities without following purposes, basis and terms defined by this Law and/or people, and those who are familiar with this information and disseminate it for business and service purposes, have criminal, administrative and disciplinary responsibility in accordance with the legislation of Azerbaijan Republic accordingly.

2. The subject of operational-investigation activities is obliged to restore the violated right of persons and pay moral and financial damages when people’s rights and freedoms, legal persons’ legal interests are violated, as well as when the relation of the person exposed to operational-investigation activities is not proven.
    
Article 21. Responsibility for the violation of law during the realization of operational-investigation activities

1. Persons who carry out and are trusted to carry out the organization and realization of operational-investigation activities without following purposes, basis and terms defined by this Law and/or people, who are familiar with this information and disseminate it for business and service purposes, hold criminal, administrative and disciplinary responsibility in accordance with the legislation of Azerbaijan Republic accordingly.

2. The subject of operational-investigation activities is obliged to restore the violated right of persons and pay moral and financial damages when people’s rights and freedoms, legal persons’ legal interests are violated, as well as when the relation of the person exposed to operational-investigation activities is not proved.
 
 

Excluding the application of operational-investigation measures considered in this Law by the subjects of operational-investigation activities, 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.”
 
 

III. Law of Azerbaijan Republic on Mass Media  
 

                                                        Article 60

Original variant     Proposed variant
Article 60. The responsibility for abusing freedom of mass information and journalist rights   

The editorial office (responsible editor) and journalists (authors) of mass media hold civil, administrative, criminal and other responsibility pursuant to the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic when:

 
1. information that is forbidden to be disclosed by law is disclosed;   
2. the editor-in-chief (editors) does not oversee the conformity of materials published in print publications to requests of the present Law;   
3. information is disseminated without indicating its source, except for cases envisaged in the present Law;  
4. an attempt is made on personal life of a citizen;  
5. pornographic materials published or broadcasted.
    Article 60. The responsibility for abusing freedom of mass information and journalist rights   

Editorial office (responsible editor) and journalists (authors) of mass media hold civil, administrative, criminal and other responsibility pursuant to the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic when:

 
1. information that is forbidden to be disclosed by law is disclosed;   
2. the editor-in-chief (editors) does not oversee the conformity of materials published in print publications to requests of the present Law;   
3. information is disseminated without indicating its source, except for cases envisaged in the present Law;  
4. attempt is made on personal life of citizens;  
5. pornographic materials published or broadcast.
 

Except 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.
 
 
IV. Law of Azerbaijan Republic on intelligence and anti-intelligence activity
 
                             
                                                            Article 4.6

Original variant     Proposed variant
Article 4. Guarantees of human rights and freedoms in the intelligence and anti-intelligence activities

4.1. Actions degrading to honor and dignity should not be committed during the implementation of intelligence and counter-intelligence activity. Every person should be involved in cooperation with the subjects of intelligence and counter-intelligence activity by his/her own agreement only.

4.2 Except for cases as determined by the legislation of Azerbaijan Republic, restriction of the right to inviolability is not allowed during intelligence and anti-intelligence activity. The revealing of people’s secrets regarding personal and family life (that are gathered during intelligence and counter-intelligence activity) without their agreement is not allowed.

4.3. When operational-investigation activities are applied in the intelligence and counter-intelligence activity, the restriction of right to apartment inviolability, phone conversations,  information secrets disseminated via telephone, mail, telegraph, copying information from technical communication channels or other technical means, and following people are allowed in cases as determined by the law of Azerbaijan Republic on intelligence and counter-intelligence activities and criminal procedural legislation only.

4.4. In the event that the employees of intelligence and anti-intelligence activity subjects violate the rights and freedoms of humans and citizens while performing their official duties, relevant subjects should take measures to restore these rights and freedoms, to pay for damages and to bring people accountable for their actions.

4.5 Officials of subjects of intelligence and anti-intelligence activities who use the government and abuse their authorities hold responsibility as envisaged by the legislation of Azerbaijan Republic.
    Article 4. Guarantees of human rights and freedoms in the intelligence and anti-intelligence activities

4.1. Actions degrading to honor and dignity should not be committed during the implementation of intelligence and anti-intelligence activity. Every person should be involved in cooperation with the subjects of intelligence and anti-intelligence activity over his own agreement only.

4.2 Except for cases as considered by the legislation of Azerbaijan Republic, restriction of right to inviolability is not allowed during intelligence and anti-intelligence activity. Revealing of secrets regarding everybody’s personal and family life (that is gathered during intelligence and anti-intelligence activity) without their agreement is not allowed.

4.3. when operational-investigation activities are applied in the intelligence and anti-intelligence activity, restriction of right to apartment inviolability, phone conversations,  information secrets disseminated via telephone, mail, telegraph, and copying information from technical communication channels and other technical means, following people are allowed in the cases as considered by the law of Azerbaijan Republic on intelligence and anti-intelligence activities and criminal procedural legislation only.

4.4. In the event that the employees of intelligence and anti-intelligence activity subjects violate the rights and freedoms of humans and citizens while performing their official duties, relevant subjects should take measures to restore these rights and freedoms, to pay for damages and to bring accountable people to responsibility.

4.5 Officials of subjects of intelligence and anti-intelligence activities who use the government and abuse their authorities hold responsibility as envizaged by the legislation of Azerbaijan Republic.

“4.6. Excluding the realization of cases of intelligence activities considered in this Law by the subjects of intelligence and counter-intelligence activities, 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.”
 

V. LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN ON RIGHT TO OBTAIN INFORMATION
 
Original variant     Proposed variant
Article 6. Principles of Information Access  

6.0. Basic principles of information access are as follows:

6.0.1. free, unrestricted and equal settlement of any information request;

6.0.2. eligibility of the information access;

6.0.3. obligation of state authorities and municipalities to disclose the information;

6.0.4. maximal transparency of information;

6.0.5. execution of any information request as soon as practicable and under the most appropriate method;

6.0.6. personal, public and state security during provision with information;

6.0.7. state protection of the right of information access, including judicially;

6.0.8. free-of-charge information access, except as otherwise provided by the present

Law;

6.0.9. responsibility of the information owners for violating the right of information

access;

6.0.10. not exceeding any limitation on information access over the grounds causing such

limitations;

6.0.11. non-forcing officials to disclose the information on offences that generate the public interest.
 
    Article 6. Principles of Information Access  

6.1. Basic principles of information access are as follows:

6.1.1. free, unrestricted and equal settlement of any information request;

6.1.2. eligibility of the information access;

6.1.3. obligation of state authorities and municipalities to disclose the information;

6.1.4. maximal transparency of information;

6.1.5. execution of any information request as soon as practicable and under the most

appropriate method;

6.1.6. personal, public and state security during provision with information;

6.1.7. state protection of the right of information access, including judicially;

6.1.8. free-of-charge information access, except as otherwise provided by the present

Law;

6.1.9. responsibility of the information owners for violating the right of information

access;

6.1.10. not exceeding any limitation on information access over the grounds causing such

limitations;

6.0.11. non-forcing officials to disclose the information on offences that generate the public interest.

6.2. 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.