Mongolian Parliament Passes Freedom of Access Law

The Mongolian Parliament passed the “Law on Information, Transparency, Right and Freedom to Access Information” on June 16, 2011. The law will go into effect on December 1, 2011. Passage of the law came on the same day President Obama met with Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj to discuss cooperative efforts. Under previous legislation, Mongolian citizens could receive information that was “not confidential” and “protected” by the state and its institutions.

The Mongolian government keeps a watchful eye on the media—enforcing compliance with content restrictions on violence, pornography, alcohol and tax laws. Journalists and independent publications self censor due to the restrictions of the State Secrets Law and other libel laws.  Following riots during 2008’s parliamentary elections, several journalists were injured and most television stations were forced to stop broadcasting. Mongolia has also been slow to implement legislation making broadcasters into public corporations—and is still very reliant for news on the state-owned radio station Radio Mongolia.

Freedom House applauds the passage of freedom of information legislation in Mongolia—a step in the right direction in an effort to promote press freedom.

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