“The creation of the NGO Agency on April 19, 2021, instead of the Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), does not cover the whole essence. It’s simple, as they say, “to swap the terms”, stated the expert on media law Alesker Mammadli in the program “Difficult Question”.
The lawyer adds that at one time civil society in Ukraine was active, influencing the change of government. Fearing a similar situation in Azerbaijan, official Baku began to suppress the institutions of civil society. In 2013-2014, prominent persons representing these institutions were arrested, additional requirements were put forward for the implementation of the activities of international NGOs.
According to Mammadli, as a result of this pressure, civil society institutions have become more dependent, they have not been able to attract funds from international donors to projects. It was impossible to work on some normal project outlined by the Council of Azerbaijan NGOs.
The lawyer draws attention to the issue that the government should not interfere with the activities of NGO organizations, this is unacceptable. The key issue here is to prevent the government from dictating, otherwise NGOs will not be able to develop as free structures.
According to Mammadli, if freer and more managerial actions of NGOs are expected, then neither government structures nor other governing organizations should interfere with the activities of civil society institutions.
He argues that for the development of civil society institutions, first of all, legislation should be simplified, government interference should be minimized, and more transparency should be required.
Source: Turan News Agency