PROPOSED CHANGES AND AMENDMENTS TO LAW ON NGOs CREATES CONCERN

June 17th, 2009
U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Anne Derse has issued a statement in connection with proposed changes and additions to Law “On Non-governmental Organizations (Public Unions and Foundations). According to “Media Forum” site, Derse stated that she has been following closely the steps taken by Milli Mejlis regarding the proposed changes to the law. The ambassador thinks that if the changes are adopted in their proposed forms, they will contradict international standards, impose additional restrictions on freedom of speech and association, and will complicate the development of civil society. 

OSCE Baku Office Head Bilge Cankorel also issued a statement in connection with proposed changes and additions to Law on Non-governmental Organizations today. “My office is concerned about the likelihood of adoption of changes and additions to NGO law on 19 June 2009,” Cankorel is quoted as saying. “These changes could affect the work of NGOs negatively and restrict the people’s right to freedom of association and expression.”
The Presidential Council of State Support for NGOs is conducting an evaluation in connection with proposed changes and additions to Law “On Non-governmental Organizations (Public Unions and Foundations)” and will reveal its opinion in the next few days, said chairman of the council, Parliamentarian Azay Guliyev according to the “Media Forum”.
During a meeting conducted in the headquarters of Umid Party, leaders of political parties included in Civil Movement for Garabakh and the Republic issued a statement to oppose the proposed changes and additions to Law on NGOs.