Eight political parties called to revice media bill
Baku/23.12.21/Turan: Eight political parties of Azerbaijan have appealed to President Ilham Aliyev and Speaker of Parliament Sahiba Gafarova to suspend adopting a new media law in order to revise it.
The authors of the petition note that the bill contains a number of reactionary provisions, including establishing control over Internet television by licensing broadcast platforms and activities of operators.
Note that the document regulates professional and creative activities of media workers which increases their dependence on the authorities.
Besides, the document defines those engaged in journalism, establishes a register of journalists, introduces a single form of a journalistic certificate.
As a whole, the bill deprives journalism of self-regulation mechanisms concentrating all powers in the hands of the executive branch.
Also, the bill restricts freedom of expression, especially freedom of mass media demanding from journalists to observe professional ethics, impartial and objective presentation of facts and events; prohibits to disseminate information obtained by secret means.
Besides, the bill includes provisions restricting the information policy of political parties and their access to mass media. Thus, Article 26.3 of the draft law prohibits political parties from being founders of media companies (except for print media).
"The adoption of the bill will lead to violation of the Constitution of Azerbaijan and national legislation, as well as international treaties to which Azerbaijan is a party," the authors of the appeal insist.
They call on the Head of State and the Speaker of Parliament to take necessary steps and suspend the new law's adoption by the Parliament. It is essential to submit the document for wide public discussion and improve it with due regard for suggestions and comments.
The appeal was signed by heads of the parties as follows: "Revival", "Citizens and Development", "National Unity of Azerbaijan", "Nationalist Democracy", "Democracy and Prosperity", "Free Democrats", "Law and Justice", "Democratic Changes".—06D-