Yesterday, 2 April, President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to bring into force the referendum act “On Making Amendments and Changes to the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic.” In the order the Presidential Administration is asked to prepare the project of relevant normative legal acts on amendments and changes made to articles 32, 50, 67, 71, 75, 84, 96, 101, 108, 109, 125, 129, 131 of the Constitution within the next four months and to submit to the president.
The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety contacted the “Media Rights Institute” Director Rashid Hajili to learn his position on changes to Articles 32 (right to personal immunity) and Article 50 (right to information freedom) to the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic. R. Hajili said that he has concerns about the amendment made to item 3 of Article 32 and this amendment will cause problems for mass media representatives. “This change will hinder mass media representatives from obtaining information.”
Everyone has personal right and right to protect their family, added Hajili. “However journalists should have right to distribute any information about people who are socio-politically important and their families without exposing their family secrets.
Saying that he does not believe item 3 amended to Article 50 will create that serious problems, R. Hajili said that everyone’s right to refute any information or to respond to it was ensured before.
IRFS also attempted to contact Socio-political Department Head of the Presidential Administration Ali Hasanov, but the person answering a phone in his office said Deputy Head of the Department Arastun Mehdiyev would answer our questions. However, stating that he has already gave information about this issue in the media, Mehdiyev refused to answer any questions.