Demonstration against freedom of information act draws hundreds

The new law limits which government documents the public can access

39 percent of the Danes want to study near where they reside (photo: iStock)
December 30th, 2013 2:21 pm| by admin
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Up to 1,500 protestors brandishing torches gathered in silence outside Christiansborg yesterday to protest against the new freedom of information law, TV2 News reported.

The new law was passed earlier this year and reduces the number of government documents that can be accessed by members of the public who want insight into the work of politicians.

While the law modernises the existing freedom of information law and increases openness in some areas of government, it has been criticised for ending access to documents that are passed between ministers and civil servants.

READ MORE: Freedom of information law passes; opponents pledge recall vote

Popular petition ignored
“We have lit torches in the dark to remind politicians that there are many people who signed the petition that was handed in the day before the law was passed,” protest organiser Susanne Jespersen told TV2 News, referring to a petition against the law that has amassed almost 89,0000 signatures – the most popular domestic online petition ever.

Anders Højsted, a member of Radikale and founder of an 11,613-member Facebook group against the law, argued that many political scandals exposed in the past would not have seen the light of day if the new rules had applied then.

“Democracy is not the fastest and effective way to rule; dictatorship is," Højsted told TV2 News. "But we don’t need a fast democracy, we want justice and that is not possible if journalists can no longer look over the shoulders of politicians.”

The new freedom of information act takes effect on January 1. 

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