Madrid, 8 October 2013 – Access Info Europe has decided to take its appeal for access to information, denied by the Spanish Ministry of Defence, to the European Court of Human Rights after the appeal was recently rejected by the Spanish Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court had not accepted the appeal because they said that the protection of a fundamental right had not been violated.
Right in the midst of the debate on the Spanish Transparency Law, this decision by the Constitutional Court supports the arguments of the governing Partido Popular as well as of other parties, that the right of access to information is not a fundamental right. Access Info however, continues to defend the right based upon the final decision of the European Court of Human Rights which again on 25 June 2013 recognised the fundamental character of the right of access to information.
The request made by Access Info on 18 February 2009 asked for information that in countries like the UK, is already public. These were the following questions:
- – The number of properties sold by the Ministry of Defence in 2007.
- – The number of complaints made by members of the armed forces on the grounds of discrimination.
- – The number of spanish troops being treated for post-conflict traumas for each of the last four years and the annual cost of this treatment.
- – How many members of the armed forces have had limbs amputated during missions in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 and how many are on sick leave as a consequence of the traumas sustained on these missions.
After exhausting all national possibilities at the national level, Access Info Europe will take the appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
You can read a more detailed explanation of the whole legal process here.