A bill on marital law was tabled at the Azerbaijani parliament’s plenary meeting on Friday.
Ziyafat Asgarov, parliament vice-speaker, chairman of the defense, security and anti-corruption committee of the parliament, presented the bill, noting that intensifying attempts by Armenia’s subversive groups to escalate the tension on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops and the ongoing information war in the world made it necessary to revise this law.
The revised law comprises 6 paragraphs and 27 articles (the valid law comprises 5 paragraphs and 17 articles).
The valid law sates that in connection with the declaration of martial law in the country, the head of state shall appeal to the parliament, and the latter shall consider the appeal and pass a decision within 72 hours (according to the revised law, the period is reduced to 48 hours).
It also covers the issues of creation of military commandants’ offices, prohibition on dislocation of people during martial law and other issues.
Moreover, the revised law envisages appealing relevant bodies regarding operation of mass media outlets in special regime, limiting or suspending their operations if there are legal grounds during the martial law.
According to the bill, Azerbaijan can apply military censorship on media upon the declaration of martial law in the country.
Military censorship includes pre-coordination of mass media information by military and state authorities, control on correspondences for the purpose of preventing illegal dissemination of state secrets, on TV and radio broadcast as well as phone and radio talks. The bill also bans rallies, marches and pickets in case of the introduction of martial law in the country. According to the bill, in case of actual occupation of some part of the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic, announcement of war by foreign country or countries against the Azerbaijan Republic, blockade of the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic and also whenever there is real danger of armed attack against the Azerbaijan Republic, blockade of the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic and also in case of real threat of such blockade, martial law is declared in the country.
It also envisages that citizens of states which have carried out aggression against Azerbaijan or pose a real threat to Azerbaijan’s defense interests and security will be interned in case martial law regime is declared.
It says in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, relevant executive authority informs secretaries general of the United Nations and Council of Europe about partial and temporary restriction of human/civil rights and freedoms during martial law, reasons for such a decision.
The draft law was put to vote and approved on the first reading.