28 July 2010

Freedom of information law comes to life

Offering a bold example for the possibilities for press freedom, the Liberian government passed a freedom of information law last week, report the Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP) and the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).

The House of Representatives of Liberia unanimously voted to pass the Liberia Freedom of Information Law on 22 July, thereby making information accessible to all Liberians. The law has been forwarded to the Senate and is expected to be signed into law by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf by the end of August.

News of the law has been hailed across the country, and around the continent. CEMESP Executive Director Malcolm Joseph, who worked on the draft, urged the Senate to endorse the law.

The passage of the law has come about after two years of intense lobbying and advocacy by CEMESP and other members of the Liberia Freedom of Expression Coalition, the Liberia Media Law and Policy Reform Working Group and the Liberia Civil Society Consortium on Freedom of Information.

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