A group of media leaders, journalistic organizations and experts of the country appealed to President Ilham Aliyev with a request not to sign a new media bill and return it to parliament for revision.
The authors of the appeal express serious concern about the content of this law, noting that it was prepared and submitted to the parliament without public discussions and without taking into account the opinions of independent media and lawyers.
Thus, the text of the bill was made public just a day before the discussions of the parliamentary committee. “After that, we developed and submitted proposals for improving this reactionary document, which does not meet the standards of freedom of the media and speech. Unfortunately, our proposals were ignored. As a result, the Milli Majlis adopted the bill, making only technical changes.
“The draft law, the content of which does not meet the standards of media laws, with an abstract and confusing text, completely subordinates journalism to state regulation. It hands over to the state all decisive regulatory mechanisms, from defining the concept of who can engage in legal journalism to the issuance of a license for online media by the executive authorities. The drafting process of the draft law, its content do not comply with both the law “On obtaining information”, the Constitution of the country and the provisions on freedom of the media of international treaties signed by Azerbaijan,” the appeal says.
“With this appeal, we ask you not to sign the Law on Media, but to return it to the parliament for revision,” says the conclusion of the appeal, which was signed by: Arif Aliyev (head of the New Generation Association of Journalists), Osman Gunduz (Internet Development Forum), Elchin Shikhly (editor of the Ayna-Zerkalo publication, head of the Union of Journalists of Azerbaijan), Alesker Mammadli (expert in the field of media law), Mehman Aliyev (director of the Turan news agency), Gulu Maharramli, (chairman of the Center for Journalism and Development, media expert), Khalid Agaliyev , (media rights expert).