Egypt Indicates Plans to Offer Draft FOI Legislation Soon

2 March 2012

A top Egyptian  government minister on Feb. 27 said a draft freedom of information bill will be submitted to Parliament soon, according to a report in Egypt.com.

Assistant Minister of Justice of Legislative Affairs, Omar al-Sherif, said the Justice Ministry has prepared a draft bill in coordination with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. He spoke at a meeting of the Human Rights Committee of the People’s Assembly.

Shiref said journalists are waiting for such access, according to the article. He said a law must protect personal privacy, especially regarding health records.

He indicated that he expects conflict over which agency should take responsibility for the law.

The existing press law already affirms journalists’ right to information, the article quoted Major General Ali Abdel Mawla as saying. He is director of the Interior Ministry Legal Department and the article suggest he supports combining relevant access laws into a single law.

Indications that Egypt has been working on a FOI bills have been around for more than a year. (See previous FreedomInfo.org reports.)

Some of the groups supporting Egyptian activists supportive of a FOI bill have been involved in the recent government crackdown on nongovernmental organizations.

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