Ziyafat Asgarov, First Vice Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament, Chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Defense, Security and Anti-Corruption, has reacted to the protests against restrictions on access to information on the Armed Forces for press and NGOs.
Addressing today’s meeting of parliament, Asgarov said that the press service of the Ministry of Defense is creating conditions for the press to write about the army and it is wrong to exceed the boundaries.
He gave the example of US operations in Iraq.
"Shall we come out and say ‘it’s forbidden once and for all to write about the army, just as the U.S. did during the Iraq war. Go mind your business, we’re fighting a battle’?” said Asgarov.
He also urged journalists to write information about the army with reference to the Defense Ministry. “Did you hear dear journalists? Write the truth,” said the vice speaker.
Asgarov noted that the Azerbaijani Army is one of the most democratic armies in the world.
“Thoughts about the provision of the new bill on the Armed Forces which reflects the possibilities of army’s interference in political processes are also false. The Armed Forces doesn’t consist of just the army. The army has nothing to do with domestic policy. It will be the Interior Troops that will deal with internal issues, not the army,” he said.
Asgarov also commented on Tahir Karimli’s proposal to give the Azerbaijani Army the authority of pursuing the enemy in the territory of invader country, along with expelling the enemy from our territory. “Mr. Tahir, then we will be occupiers,” he added.