President Proposes Changes to Criminal Code

September 6th, 2016

The President of Azerbaijan has put forward a proposal to include new articles in the Criminal Code. One of such articles is draft Article 278.2, according to which, actions aimed at the violent change of the constitutional system, as well as the secular nature of Azerbaijan Republic or at its territorial disintegration or at violent seizure of power committed on the grounds of religious enmity, religious radicalism or religious fanaticism shall be punished by a prison sentence of 15 to 20 years or life imprisonment.

Furthermore, instigation of national or ethnic enmity and restriction of civil rights in Azerbaijan on the basis of religious fanaticism and religious radicalism, as well as commission of such acts through the media are also penalised.

To this end, it is proposed to add two new articles, Article 283.1-1 and Article 283.3, to the Criminal Code.

According to new Article 283.1-1, actions aimed at instigating national, racial, social or religious hatred and enmity, humiliating national dignity, as well as restricting the rights of citizens or establishing superiority of citizens on the grounds of their nationality, race, social status or religion, when such actions are committed publicly or through the media on the grounds of religious enmity, religious radicalism or religious fanaticism, shall be punished by a prison sentence of 3 to 5 years.

The proposed Article 283.3 stipulates a prison sentence of up to 5 years for financing the actions with the above motives.

The bill has been presented to Milli Majlis (Parliament) and will be put up for discussion at one of the coming meetings.