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24.12.2010

New Citizen: Call for stop to procrastination on Public Information Act

   

The civic campaign New Citizen, supported by over 30 civic organizations, has issued the following statement about the crucial Law on Access to Public Information which was supposed to be passed this month.

Journalists and civic organizations insist upon the fulfilment by National Deputies of their obligation to the Ukrainian public and international community to pass the Law on Access to Public Information by the end of the year.

As members of civic society were are seriously concerned by the way in which purely formal pretexts are being used by deputies to delay the passing of a law which could become an effective instrument for fighting corruption and for control over the authorities.

We call on the opposition factions BYuT and Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence to come to parliament and give their votes for this important bill.

We consider the position of the Communists and all those blocking the passing of this law to be extremely unconstructive and harmful.

We are convinced that the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Volodymyr Lytvyn is personally responsible for ensuring that all formal obstructions to voting on the bill are removed and the bill is finally voted on.

We would remind the National Deputies that separate laws on access to information exist in 70 countries. Among post-Soviet republics, only Ukraine and Belarus have failed to pass such a law, which is one of the requirements on Ukraine from the Council of Europe.

Ukrainian civic organizations and journalist have over the last six months actively fought for the passing of this law, not only informing society of its important but directly and on many occasions calling on the President, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and Deputies to pass the Law on Access to Public Information.

Over 150 civic organizations have supported the statement of the journalist movement “Stop Censorship!” which includes the demand to pass this important law.

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