Concealment of information regarding deputes’ flats brought a journalist to the European Court

October 15, 2013

The Secretariatof Verkhovna Rada of Ukrainerefuses to give information regarding names of deputes that received officialhousings. National courts did not help – yesterday representative of thejournalist Kateryna Avramchuk brought a claim to the European Court. The case is supported bythe Foundation on Protectionof the Right toInformation Access, set up by the Media Law Institute.

The Secretariatof Verkhovna Rada of Ukrainerefused to give information regarding names of deputes of the sixth calling thatreceived official housing on the request of the journalist. The Secretariatconsiders this information to be confidential and refuses to disclose itwithout personal agreement of these deputes. Katheryna Avramchuk received onlycommon information regarding number and space of official housings as well as averagecost of one square meter during time of their provision.

VRUposition straightly violates Ukranian legislation. The Law of Ukraine “OnAccess to Public Information” foresees that access to information regarding possession,usage or managing the state, municipal property, copies of respectful documents,conditions of receiving of these costs or property, the first and the second names ofpersons that received these costs or property can not be limited.

Nevertheless,Ukrainian courts of all instances supported illegal position of the Secretariatof Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.That is why the journalist with the support of Media Law Institute brought aclaim to the European Court of Human Rights.

“Unfortunately,in Ukraineit is impossible to win a case against Verkhovna Rada regarding access toinformation. That is why we hope that thanks to European Court of Human Rightswe will make Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine more transparent for journalists andcitizens”, – Taras Shevchenko, the Director of Media Law Institute, comments.

This case is supported by the Foundation on Protection of the Right toInformation Access, set up by Media Law Institute with the support of International Renaissance Foundation.