EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Azerbaijani NGOs And Media Worry About Legislation Novelties

Posted by Info on 25/02/2010

The amendments in the legislation about prohibition of photographing and video filming of persons without their permit contradicts the international obligations of Azerbaijan. The head of the Baku-based OSCE office Jacqueline Carpenter said: the new rules will restrict the freedom of journalists to gather and disseminate information.”

The new procedure, under which if an NGO has not registered its grant at the Ministry of Justice, will not be able to implement the project.
Another problem is a new form of financial accounting. By April 1, the NGOs shall present their financial documents for last year in accordance with international accounting standards. However, NGOs have no bookkeepers who know this system of international accounting, while services of such bookkeepers are expensive.

Lenur Kerimov, representing the Polish Helsinki Assembly, offered to conduct monitoring of NGOs with the aim to reveal the problems they face and draft proposals on how to address them. This offer was supported by the audience.
Another representative of this organization noted the need of active struggle against arbitrariness of bureaucrats. In her opinion, it is necessary to go to court, when NGOs are refused registration. In this case the Strasbourg court can adopt a special resolution, obliging Azerbaijan to pass the law solving the problem of registration of NGOs.

The Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan refuted the criticism of creating problems in NGO registration and other issues related to their work. As reported by the press service of this Ministry, in 2009, 160 NGOs passed state registration and over 300 printed editions were taken on account. Currently, the total number of registered non-commercial organizations (NCOs) in the country is about 3400, and the number of mass media is over 4100.

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