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Anders Chydenius
- foundation
P.O. Box 567
FIN-67700 Kokkola
Tel. +358 (0)6 829 4111
E-mail: asiamies@chydenius.net

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OSCE media freedom representative received Chydenius medal

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, received the Chydenius medal in Helsinki, 2 December 2008, for his work to promote access to governmental information.

The medal for "merit in promotion of openness internationally" was handed to him by bishop Gustav Bjorkstrand, the Chairman of the Board of the Anders Chydenius Foundation, in cooperation with Antti Isotalus, the Mayor of the City of Kokkola. The decoration was witnessed also by Mauno Koivisto, the former President of the Republic.

"Mr Haraszti has, in his work as OSCE media freedom representative, in a groundbreaking manner paid attention to the principle of freedom of information. The access to information reports of his Office have significantly contributed to development of legislative basis for open governance in the OSCE region. The Foundation wants also to pay tribute to Mr Haraszti"s pathbreaking life work for freedom of information as writer, journalist, human rights advocate and university professor as well as the co-founder of the Hungarian Democratic Opposition Movement in 1976", said Björkstrand.

The Chydenius medal for Openness Merits was established by the Anders Chydenius Foundation. It marks outstanding activities on the international level that promote the Nordic principle of public access to governmental information.

"I am honoured to receive the Chydenius medal here in Finland, the home of the first freedom of information law of 1766 and of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act. Both documents established important principles of openness and pluralism vital for all OSCE democracies," said Haraszti.

Anders Chydenius, a Finnish enlightenment thinker and politician (1729-1803) played a crucial role in creating the world"s first Freedom of Information Act in the Diet of Sweden-Finland in 1766. The 2 December is thus celebrated in Finland and Sweden as "Freedom of Information Day".


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