Global Freedom Movement

27 September 2012

Access to information laws make a difference to our everyday lives and and are essential to an open and democratic society. That’s cause to celebrate the 10th International Right to Know Day on 28 September, says Access Info Europe

South Africans march for access to information in Cape Town last September
South Africans march for access to information in Cape Town last September

Jordi Matas / DEMOTIX

By Helen Darbishire

In 2004 journalist Genka Shikerova investigated the issue of illegal constructions in the seaside resort of Nessebar, Bulgaria. By cross-referencing documents obtained through access to information requests, she found that many of the building licences had been issued in a dubious and possibly illegal manner, on land owned by public officials but which had been classified as belonging to „poor, homeless people.“ The resulting widespread media coverage of the story reached the central authorities and had such an impact on public opinion that the local mayor did not stand…

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