Gay activists in Azerbaijan report that the ban on sexual relationships between men in that country has been lifted. A special edition of "Azerbaijan", the official newspaper of the Parliament, published on 28 May, reports that the Parliament has approved a new Criminal Code, and that the President has signed a decree bringing it into force in September. The text of the new Criminal Code is also published. From this it is clear that the old Article 113 (inherited from the Soviet era, and which punished anal sex between men with three years imprisonment) has been replaced with a new Article 150, which bans only forcible sexual acts. The introduction of the new Criminal Code is part of the widespread legal and institutional reforms undertaken by Azerbaijan in order to bring its institutions up to the standards required by the Council of Europe. These standards include the abolition of laws which ban same-sex relationships.