TODAY.AZ / Politics

Azerbaijani parliament introduces amendments and alterations to the law "On Freedom of Assembly" with 98 voting for

30 May 2008 [15:48] - TODAY.AZ
Azerbaijani Parliament introduced amendments to the law "On Freedom of Assembly" with 98 deputies voting for.
Only two deputies voted against though the number of opposition deputies, taking part in the session of the parliament was higher by several times.

Deputy Ahmed Oruj, speaking on the amendments, noted that in Azerbaijan meetings mostly become a field for extremism.

"For some forces meeting is just a lifestyle", said Oruj.

His colleague, chairman of Great Creation party Fazil Qazanfaorghlu noted that the constitution does not envision restrictions regarding freedom of assembly and such restrictions are introduced by the law.

The deputy spoke against the amendments according to which in case of absence of mass actions on the place of the event conduction, this action should not be conducted.

"The organizers could be deprived of the opportunity to take part in the action on purpose, which will promote cancellation of the event", said Qazanfaroghlu.

Deputy executive secretary of Yeni Azerbaijan party Siyavush Novruzov considers that country's development has reached the level when new methods of agitation, propaganda have become urgent, while meetings and pickets have become out of date. He considers that the amendments to the law demonstrate the democratic position of the Azerbaijani government.

At the same time, Novruzov announced that he has some remarks regarding the amendments.

"I think the amendments, connected with underage children, should be excluded without damaging the spirit of the law", said Novruzov.

Ana Veten party chairman, deputy Fazail Aghamaly supporting the alterations to the law, said he does not agree with the paragraph, which allows foreigners to conduct mass actions.

"For example, Azerbaijan starts military actions for liberation of occupied lands. At the same time, religious sects, mainly led by foreigners, may start meetings against it. I think this is inadmissible", noted he.

Member of the Musavat parliamentary group, Intizam Akperli considers that the proposed amendments do not have anything positive and all restrictive factors of the old law remain in force.

He did not agree with the paragraph which bans holding mass actions in the threshold of international events.

"By using this point, the chief executive may ban conduction of a mass action anytime", said Akperli.

Deputy chief executive of the Yeni Azerbaijan party, Mubariz Qurbanly considers that the right of freedom of assembly has never been restricted in Azerbaijan.

"Unfortunately, opposition perceives this right as anarchy. Yet this has always been and will be prevented in Azerbaijan", said Qurbanly.

Another member of Musavat parliamentary group Ikram Israfilov considers that if authorities treat freedom of assembly negatively, the Baku city administration will always refuse to sanction the meetings.

"No law may help execute the right of freedom of assembly, if authorities are not positively determined", said Israfilov.

Executive secretary of the Yeni Azerbaijan Party, Ali Ahmedov announced that amendments to the law were proposed with the intention to make it more democratic.

He did not agree that citizens of Azerbaijan are not allowed to use their right for freedom of assembly. He said in 2003-2005 Azerbaijan was a country where mass actions were held more frequently than in other countries.

"The situation has reversed. Opposition can not gather people to hold meetings. Opposition did not believe that 600,000 new jobs were created in Azerbaijan. But the main reason of citizens' refusal to participate in the meetings is this. That is people work and they need not take part in the mass actions", said Ahmedov.

Chairman of Single Popular Front Party Qurdat Hasanquliyev did not agree with the paragraph according to which conduction of mass actions before the international events is prohibited as it violates human rights.

"Perhaps I want to hold demonstrations on this very international event. Why should I be banned to do it? We have seen that during the summits of the great eight people are allowed to speak about their policy", said he.


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