Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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The documents are classified and forgotten forever


The RA state bodies do not declassify the secret documents. On the 30th of January 2015 Freedom of Information center sent a written request to all RA ministries to find out whether the ministries declassified any the secret document during 2014. FOICA’s information requests showed that none of the RA ministries declassified any document during the last year. Almost the same level of secrecy is registered in 2013 when FOICA found out that out of 18 ministries only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declassified 3 documents.

While according to the RA law on ''State and official secret'' after running out a 10-years expiratory date foreseen by the law the information forming state and official secret should be declassified and considered open or be destroyed by the established order. Also, the established time frames of the classified information can be reduced and the secret information can be declassified before the set deadline by the decision of RA Government.

Beside the above-mentioned the 16th article of the RA law on ''State and official secret'' defines two grounds for declassification of information: a) international obligations of the Republic of Armenia aimed at open sharing of state and official secret information b) the change of objective circumstances which resulted further preservation and protection of information forming state and official secret becomes inexpedient.

FOICA applied to the ministries during last several years on the declassified documents and cleared up that there were too exclusive cases when the miniseries had declassified confidential documents. In this context taking into account the above-mentioned terms of the RA law on “State and official secret” the absence of declassified documents is becoming very problematic and it is a reason to insist that neither the expiration of the secrecy time frames nor based on the grounds stated by the Law confidential information is not being declassified by the state.

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