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It is impossible to control virtual space, expert

2017 January 25 ( Tuesday )  14:42:30
Print version
Русский Azərbaycan

It is impossible to carry out a completely legal regulation over the virtual space, as it is beyond the scope of individual states, said in an interview with Cətin Sual ( "Difficult question") expert in the field of the rights of media, Alasgar Mammadov, commenting on the proposal of the Head of the Press Council Aflatun Amashov to adopt a separate law regulating the social media. According to Mammadli, in 2016 Azerbaijan adopted legislation concerning online activities.

Thus, the Criminal Code was supplemented with a new Article 148-1 on establishing penalties for libel and insults on social networks. In this case, the prosecutor's office also get a right to file lawsuits. The talks is about the cases where defamation is allowed with the anonymous profile.

On the other hand, in the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan says that the Code only covers acts committed on the territory of the country, but the Internet is a virtual space.

Such well-known resources as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter account on the domain com, located outside the territorial jurisdiction of Azerbaijan.The desire to control social media comes from the fact that it is the only space in Azerbaijan, where there is a partial freedom of expression, there are discussions, where users can influence the formation of public opinion.

The expert also pointed out that the attempt to strictly regulate the Internet in contravention of the Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. In Azerbaijan there are problems in this sphere, and because there is criminal liability for defamation which is applied in practice.

Mammadli said that if a restrictive law governing the social network to the Internet is adopted, this will deprive the government's argument that the "Internet is free in Azerbaijan."

Mammadli pointed to problems in the traditional media. Thus, the National Television and Radio unwillingly issues licenses to regional TV channels. Due to the transition to digital broadcasting regional channels stopped working: "Alternatives" in Ganja, "Aygun" - Zagatala, and "Goutbi" - Guba.

In 2016 the opposition newspaper "Azadlig" was forced to stop the printed edition, which had been published since 1989, was denied a license of the ANS TV channel. According to Mammadli, the free media atmosphere has been steadily shrinking.

To improve the situation, the government should not interfere in the sphere of freedom of expression, should not pursue journalists, divide media, and to distinguish between them on political positions, to maintain the principles of "Open Government". Advertisers should have freedom of choice in advertising, where they want.

Mammadli also noted the unfounded dismissal of the Russian correspondent of TV channel "Lider TV" Anar Hasanov, who asked Lavrov questions. According to him, the dismissal of a journalist for the performance of their professional functions is unacceptable. In this case, he fulfilled his function well achieving a response indicating the true Russian policy on the Karabakh issue, said Mammadli.-06D--

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