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OSCE Hails New Kazakh Law On Information, Says Drawbacks Remain

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic has praised Kazakhstan's new law on access to information, but added that the legislation still had drawbacks.

In a statement on November 25, Mijatovic welcomed the law -- which came into force in September -- and praised the statutory presumption of a right to access information. She also hailed the law's scope -- which encompasses state, quasi-state, and some private entities -- and its clear rules for requesting and providing information.

But she also noted that some provisions of the law remain vague and restricted in scope, which could weaken its effectiveness.

Among these shortcomings, Mijatovic cited norms that regulate access to meetings, exceptions to the right of access to information in other laws, and the lack of an independent supervisory body for dealing with complaints.

Mijatovic expressed the hope that the law will be amended and said her office is ready to assist.

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