The OSCE says freedom of information laws are in force in "new democracies" such as Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Azerbaijan, but finds most governments define state secrets too broadly and thereby hide information important for society.
Also today, the OSCE representative on freedom of the media, Miklos Haraszti, condemned the seven-year prison sentence handed down to Uzbek journalist Umida Niyazova as "cruel."
On May 1, a court in Tashkent sentenced Niyazova for illegal border crossing, carrying contraband, and fostering unrest by spreading material threatening to society. Rights groups say the charges were politically motivated.
Uzbekistan's Foreign Ministry defended Niyazova's jailing, saying she had threatened the state by financing nongovernmental organizations with foreign money, AFP reported.