“RUH” COMMITTEE FOR DEFENSE OF AZERBAIJANI JOURNALISTS CONDUCTS SURVEY

December 2nd, 2009
“Ruh” Committee for Defense of Azerbaijan Journalists (CDAJ) unveiled its report on the results of the survey conducted among ministries, state organs, offices, institutions and organizations within the framework of “The Role of Public Initiatives in the Adoption of Defamation Law”. The project was financially supported by the State Support Fund to Mass Media.   

According to “Ruh” CDAJ, about 500 respondents from different entities participated in the survey and were asked four questions.  
67% of the respondents approved of the articles of the Criminal Code that oversee the imprisonment of journalists for their articles, 17% of the respondents believe that it would be better to substitute the imprisonment with other punishment measures, and 16% found it hard to make a judgment.
37% of the respondents supported the articles of the Criminal Code that oversee the measures of punishment for journalists due to their articles,  31% believe that several more severe additions should be made to the Criminal Code, while only 13 % suggested that the articles of the Criminal Code that oversee the imprisonment of journalists for their articles should be eased. 19% could not express an opinion.
When answering “What kind of measures would you take over libel and insult committed against you?,” 32% of the respondents said they would turn to the courts, 31% said they prefer to appeal to the Press Council, 15% of the respondents said they would try to contact the editorial office and the author to clarify the issue, no one said they would punish the journalists themselves and 22% of the respondents said they would not pay any heed to this issue.      
23% of the respondents stated that they would ask for the imprisonment of the journalist if they appeal to court due to libel and insult, 21% of the respondents said they would ask for the closure of the media, 20% were for issuing fines against mass media, 20% were for the publication of a refutation and an apology and 24 % said they would simply ask to shut down the mass media if they turned to court.