Azerbaijan’s incumbent President Aliyev’s new proposal to the National Parliament is stirring discontent. In his new proposal, President says citizens of Azerbaijan who have secretly taken a new citizenship and failed to inform Azerbaijan’s consular services will be penalised.
Fines ranging from 3thousand to 5thousand manats and public work between 360 to 480 hours will be used against the instigators.
However, some in Azerbaijan consider the proposal as lacking legal base. Muzaffer Bakhishov, lawyer, says the new proposal is meant to prevent those Azerbaijani nationals the government doesn’t like from returning to the country. “In case someone doesn’t provide information on his/her new citizenship, this person is going to be liable to criminal penalty. Upon this person’s return to Azerbaijan, he/she will be criminally liable.”
The law on Azerbaijani citizenship was adopted in 1998. In 2014 it was amended even if this was against the State Constitution. Article 53 of Azerbaijan Constitution says even if an Azerbaijani citizen receives citizenship of another country, he/she remains a citizen of Azerbaijan. The new amendments stipulate that Azerbaijani citizens receiving citizenship of another country must report within a month of their new citizenship to the migration service in a written form.
In another development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a new amendment to its document on “Registration of Azerbaijani citizens living abroad”. According to this change, Azerbaijani nationals living and earning their income abroad will have to register at the Consular department of the country of residency within a month of their relocation. The information received at the Consular service will then be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry will inform twice a year (March and September) the State Migration Department and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection.