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EOHR holds seminar entitled "Towards a free informative society"

(EOHR/IFEX) - 25 May 2010 - The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) will hold a seminar entitled "Towards a free informative society" in the framework of the project of "The Arab network for defending the right of access to information" on 27 May at 2 p.m. at EOHR's office. The seminar will include a number of experts, professors of law and media, representatives of NGOs and human rights activists.

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, chairman of EOHR, confirmed the importance of providing information in democratic societies as it is considered one of the basic rights of citizenship. He said that reviewing and amending all laws and procedures that impede access to information is necessary so that they comply with international covenants on human rights, as approved by the Egyptian government, and become part and parcel of domestic law. This should lead to a bill on freedom of information that reflects international standards on the effective access to information, and criminalizes the prohibition of circulation or prevention of circulation for reasons that are not related to national security. There should be a bill for freedom of information to activate the principles of transparency and accountability.

Abu Seada added that the seminar will discuss three research papers. The first is entitled "Academic research and the freedom of information" by Dr. Safwat Al Alam, a professor at Faculty of Information; the second is called "Local reign and the right to access and circulation of information" by Mr. Abdel Ghafar Shokr, the vice-chairman of the Arab and African Research Center, and the third entitled "E-government and the right to access information and circulation" by Dr. Ahmed Abu Baraka, a member of parliament.

The papers will be commented on by Mr. Farid Zahran, director of the Center of A l Mahrosa, Mr. Mohamed Anwar Al Sadat, member of parliament, and Mr. Gamal Fahmy, Chairman of the Committee of Arab and Foreign Affairs at the Press Syndicate.

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