Ali Hasanov: Adoption of Defamation Law May Cause a Reverse Effect

A roundtable discussion was held as part of the “Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Media” project under Programmatic Co-operation Framework jointly implemented by the Council of Europe and European Union. At the roundtable, Azerbaijani President’s Aide on Sociopolitical Issues, Chief of the Presidential Administration’s Department of Sociopolitical Issues Ali Hasanov made a speech on freedom of opinion and speech. Ali Hasanov stated that ensuring freedom of opinion and speech and media freedom has always been at the heart of government attention, “Today, we...

Journalist Convicted on Defamation Charges

      On January 14, an Azerbaijani court found journalist Elnur Maharramli guilty of defamation and convicted him to 18 months of corrective labor. Colonel Nushiravan Safarov, the chief of the State Traffic Police Department of the Baku City Main Police Office, filed a private prosecution case against Maharramli regarding an article he published on the AzPolitika.info website on August 31, 2015.   Maharramli, who works for AzPolitika.info,  is the third journalist to face a criminal conviction on defamation charges.   Although it is a member of the Council of Europe, defamation still...

State official seeks punishment for journalists

    On November 18, the Azerbaijani President’s Aide on Socio-Political Affairs, Ali Hasanov, gave an interview to Azerbaijan State Information Agency.   Declared that freedom of speech is guaranteed in Azerbaijan, Hasanov promised that the state will continue its efforts to strengthen media independence.   He shared his regret that some media outlets ‘abuse the conditions created for them’; in particular, he claimed, online media outlets publish false, unfounded, biased and even blackmail-type information about different government agencies, their leadership, and/or employees. “Biased information about alleged “dismissal” of officials, “inspections” at...

Lawyer wants case to be heard by territorially competent court

    On November 13, Yasamal District Court, chaired by judge Serdar Mehraliyev, held a preparatory hearing on the defamation lawsuit brought by Nikoil Bank against lawyer Akram Hasanov and Aznews.az internet portal. In attendance were Nikoil Bank’s representative Aykhan Rustemzade, defendant Akram Hasanov and his lawyers Agil Layijov and Ganga Ibrahimov. Hasanov filed a motion at the hearing:   “What I wrote about Nikoil was published by more than 15 other media outlets. However, only Aznews.az internet portal is named as the second defendant. But it is clear that I...
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