Tunisan Groups Criticize Draft FOI Legislation

9 March 2016

A coalition of groups have blasted a proposed right to information law in Tunisia.

The bill includes vague and unconstitutional exceptions, according to a statement by the National Union of Tunisian Journalists, Al Bawsala, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), as reported in French here and here.

The bill is under consideration in the House of People’s Representatives with 60 amendments pending,

The groups objected to exceptions such as one that would permit withholding information to protect the economic interests of the state. Exceptions relating to security and defense should be balanced, made subject to judicial review and comply with the provisions established by the Constitution of the Republic of Tunisia, the groups wrote. The law as written is contrary to the right to information provision in the Constitution, they said.

They said the bill should be returned to committee for revision.

Separately, the Association of Tunisian Magistrates (AMT) also urged that the “vague” exceptions be altered, according to a media report.

In July of 2015, Tunisia’s president unexpectedly withdrew the bill. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed under: What's New