PROPOSED CHANGES TO NGO LAW WILL AFFECT ALREADY EXISTING ORGANIZATIONS

June 15th, 2009
In recent days, questions have arisen about if the changes proposed to the Azerbaijan Republic Law on Non-government Organizations will affect already existing organizations. Many organizations have a comparative version of the proposed legislation with no information about the "Transition Provisions” section.

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety has obtained a copy of entire bill. According to Section VI. Transition Provisions:

   1. These provisions also apply to non-governmental organizations registered up to the time when the law goes into effect.
   2. Registered non-governmental organizations must bring their activities, even their founders, into compliance with the demands of this law by the time the law goes into affect
   3. Within a one year period after this law goes into affect relevant executive authority shall appeal to court for the liquidation of non-governmental organizations that do not harmonize with the demands of this law.

IRFS has already disseminated a statement about the proposed changes which endanger all independent NGOs in Azerbaijan. See http://www.irfs.az/content/view/2436/lang,eng/.