Freedom of the Mass Media and Access to Information Proclamation No ...

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Human Rights and Governance - Media and Information


WHEREAS, the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, guarantee freedom of expression and of the
mass media;
Noting that, by prohibiting censorship, the Constitution promotes a free mass media;
Reaffirming the constitutional principle that restrictions on freedom of expression and of the mass media shall only be
based on laws which secure and preserve the wellbeing of the youth, honour and reputation of persons ,national security
, public order and other overriding rights;
Cognizant of the necessity of preserving and consolidating past achievements and positive practices pertaining to
freedom of expression while removing structural and institutional impediments that hinder the independent operation of
the mass media and the free exchange of information and ideas
Aware that a free, independent and diverse mass media with high ethical standards and professional competence plays
an indispensable role in the national endeavour to build democratic order in Ethiopia;
Recalling the role of the mass media in ensuring respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the
Constitution, and in promoting peace, democracy, equality and justice;
Recognising the right of the media to collect and disseminate information, including of a critical nature; realizing that an
independent mass media that serves as a public forum for uninhibited democratic dialogue thrives on a viable freedom of
information system that facilitates the free flaw of information and ideas among citizens by enabling them to exercise
their right to seek, receive and impart information and opinions freely;
Affirming the fundamental importance, in a democracy, transparent conduct of government affairs and, in particular, the
right of individuals to access information held by public bodies;
Determined to promote and consolidate the values of transparency and accountability in the conduct of public affairs, as
guaranteed by the Constitution, and to impose a legal obligation on public officials to facilitate access to individuals and
the mass media to information so that matters of public interest may be disclosed and discussed publicly;
Convinced of the need to amend the existing press law and to replace it by a new law that is commensurable with the
ongoing democratic transformation that is taking place in Ethiopia;
Now, therefore, in accordance with Article 55(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is
hereby proclaimed as follows:



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10/01/2011 4:15 PM

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