Togo votes for freedom of access to information law

Togo votes for freedom of access to information law

 

The Togo National Assembly voted for a law on the freedom of access to information and public material.

Although the constitution and other laws in Togo protect the freedom of speech and the press, enforcement has been problematic for a very long time.

Togo did not have a law guaranteeing access to information, and in practice official information has been difficult to obtain, particularly for private media outlets. Journalists in Togo have traditionally operated in fear of violent attacks and harassment for their reporting, and some engaging in self-censorship, particularly on issues concerning corruption, national security, the military, and Gnassingbé’s family

According to the minister of Communication, Guy Madjé Lorenzo, the text adopted on this March 10th, 2016, aims at making easier the job of the journalists which is receiving information more freely within the public institutions and, especially, reinforcing the role of mass media in the conflict against corruption and fraud.

The minister further explained that the new law on the access to information brings transparency in public management, and comes to supplement the new Penal code adopted in November, 2015 for major innovation with the conflict against corruption, fraud and abuses of authority. The text comes to supervise the organization, collection and the transmission of information within the public administration.

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