Saturday, 29 September 2012

Mourning Right to Information Day

28th September every year is marked as the Right to Information Day. Celebrated globally to raise awareness on citizen's right to access government held information, it was inagurated in 2003 with this being the 10th installement.

I spent the day mourning.

The freedom of expression advocate, released a map to show the state of Right to Information laws and regulations in countries around the world:

An observation from this map is that most countries in the world are covered by either a law or regulation governing Right to Information. However, the most obvious lack of such a right is in Africa. The continent is awash with countries in white denoting no law or regulation exists in those countries which gives their citizens the fundamental right to demand information from their governments. The only other such region which lacks Right to Info laws are the dictatorial regimes of the Middle East and Asia such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Oman and Turkmenistan. How can we accept that such a large number of supposedly democratic countries do not grant their citizen's the right to access information?

In an age where information is power, countries without Right to Access Information Laws are nothing but dictatorships in disguise.

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