- What we do
- Where we work
- About RNW
The limits of free information in the Netherlands
Published on:Saturday, August 18, 2012 - 09:55
The Dutch government wants to restrict the country's Freedom of Information Law (WOB). The WOB allows citizens, journalists and researchers to request government documents. This has led to politically embarrassing revelations about the costs of the Dutch Royal Family, ministers' expenses and the invasion of Iraq.
But the government contends that reporters are abusing the Freedom of Information Law. It is suggesting rejecting "unjustified requests", not disclosing closed-door meetings and introducing conditions on the use of documents, with a maximum penalty of one year in prison.
Journalists and others are arguing that curbing the law will make it difficult or even impossible to hold the authorities to account for their actions.