Ali Hasanov says it is premature to adopt defamation law in Azerbaijan

Ali Hasanov says it is premature to adopt defamation law in Azerbaijan
# 07 May 2007 16:07 (UTC +04:00)
Noting that Azerbaijani society is not ready to free journalists from all responsibilities, Ali Hasanov considers that it is premature to adopt this law in Azerbaijan.
Commenting on the statement by the Reporters without Borders on the state of press in Azerbaijan made, Ali Hasanov said it is regretful. He noted that the organization fought against Turkey for a long time, and the flag of this country was trampled in France.
“The Reporters without Borders always had biased position regarding the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. We doubt that this is an unbiased European organization. We think that this organization operates under the influence of Armenian lobby. Therefore, we, Azerbaijani authorities have no intention to cooperate with Reporters Without Borders. Azerbaijani people and journalists are aware of biased statements by this organization,” he said.
Ali Hasanov said that the events concerning several journalists should not be equaled to the state of freedom of expression, press and information in Azerbaijan.
The President’s Office representative did not agree to the statements by US officials on the situation of press in Azerbaijan.
“There is no threat to the freedom of expression and press in Azerbaijan. The state is the guarantee of freedom of expression,” he said.
Commenting on not including the item on defamation into the planned amnesty act, Hasanov said journalists’ deliberate libeling makes their future rehabilitation difficult.
“If Azerbaijani society can not prevent journalists’ such activities, criminal responsibility has to be noted,” he said. /APA/