The right to information – an enabler right

The right to information is a human right enshrined in international law. It is the right of every person to obtain information and data from government bodies. It is an enabling right and important tool for journalists, activists and communities to find information on key issues which affect their lives.

This right is becoming increasingly important for the Middle East and North Africa region where more countries are developing their own right to information laws and policies.

With the following materials we aim to show the importance of right to information laws to communities in Iran. But you will also hear insights from experts across the Middle East including Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, Jordan and Tunisia. We will hear stories from legal experts, journalists and activists about how the right to information has helped them in their work.

Train yourself on the right to know in Iran game

Making information requests can be a tricky game of two steps forward, two steps backwards – especially in Iran.

Our new game can help you navigate the system and learn how to make information requests.

Can you make it through the game and access all the information you need? Play and prepare yourselves to make real information requests in Iran.

Play the game in English

Play the game in Persian

The right to information in Iran
The right to information in Iran

How to make an information request in Iran

This factsheet gives step-by-step guidance on how Iranians can make information requests in Iran, covering:

  • How Iranians can make a request using the governmental portal
  • What types of information can be requested
  • How long they can expect to wait for a response to their information request
  • Exemptions in the law where information can be withheld.

Read the guide

Iran: Review of the Publication and Free Access to Information Act 2009

Understanding Iran’s right to information law is key to using it effectively. The adoption of the right to information law in Iran is a positive step in enabling the rights of Iranians to make information requests. The law provides that all Iranian citizens should be able to obtain information from public bodies and institutions on how public money is spent, how public administration and governance decisions are being made and any other information which is important to their lives.

But the law does not meet international legal standards. It has problematic or unclear provisions, applies only to citizens and contains overly broad exemptions for information that cannot be obtained. Right to information in Iran has further been hampered by slow implementation of the law. Nevertheless, the law provides an essential tool for Iranian citizens to access information.

Read our analysis

The right to information in the Middle East and North Africa

Course: The right to know in Middle East and North Africa

Learn more about the right to information in the Middle East and North Africa. Our new course will help you to use RTI laws and policies in Iran, Lebanon, Tunisia and Morocco to access important information to your work.

Watch the course introductory video below and sign up now.

Morocco: How does the access to information help disability rights advocates?

Experience from Mexico: Challenges to using access information law

Yemen: Lessons for using access to information amid war and crisis

How did Jordan become the first MENA country to pass a right to information law?

How has Lebanon's access to information law led to greater transparency?

Iran’s access to information law: a useful tool for activists, lawyers and all citizens

Tunisia: Importance of access to information for citizen’s health, environment and fighting corruption

How does Tunisia's right to know law enable other human rights?