Azerbaijan news

The proposed ban on the provision of photo and video in the media contradicts the Constitution and elementary logic – Fuad Aghayev

The proposed amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences, submitted for discussion by the Milli Majlis, contradict the Constitution of Azerbaijan. This was stated to the agency by well-known lawyer Fuad Agayev, commenting on the amendment that persons providing a media subject with a photo, video or sound recording made during the proceedings on an administrative offense will be fined if this is done without the consent of the one against whom administrative proceedings are being conducted and the victim in this case.  For this, a fine is provided for officials from 1,000 to 1,500 manats.

According to Fuad Aghayev, administrative offenses relate to public events. This is not a personal life, so the proposed ban contradicts freedom of speech and freedom to receive and disseminate information. Everything must be clearly defined in the law. In this case, this is not the case and it is not clear which event or process it refers to. All administrative law courts are open and journalists work there. So now they won’t be able to record the audio of the process. Or if there was a car accident and police officers drove to the place and began an investigation, this can be considered a “production” for an offense. So, journalists do not have the right to cover the incident or use photos and videos taken by witnesses?  Will the obvious culprit of the car accident or the bully on the street agree to have the fact of his guilt witnessed? Of course not, Agayev noted.

In general, anything can be summed up under the concept of “proceedings on an administrative offense”. Therefore, this restriction will cause various exterminations, and will not contribute to the ambiguity and objectivity of the decisions made. Among other things, this restriction will significantly complicate the work of the media, the lawyer stressed.

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