To UN office concerning the Aarhus convention.
Lyngby, Denmark, December 10. 2014.
To whom it may concern.
I am afraid, I have to take your attention to the situation i Denmark, where the authorities obstruct a clear case about access to information as granted by the Aarhus Convention.
June 6th the Danish Ombudsman stated, that the information requested by three Danish citizens was to be considered environmental information, and therefore to be treated according to the Aarhus convention. The Danish Ministry for Foods, and the minister himself, Mr. Dan Jørgensen, had earlier said, that they would obey to the judgement of the Ombudsman.
Nevertheless the information was not revealed. In a letter to the three applicants, the ministry said, that there was no legal basis for not revealing the information, but due to a sudden writ of summons sent by four farmers to the court with a plea, that the information was to be kept secret, the ministry refused the reveal the information. Names of the farmers are also kept secret.
The ministry writes:
”Det er fødevarestyrelsens opfattelse, at betingelserne for at give søgsmålene opsættende virkning i forhold til udleveringen af de af dig ønskede opllysninger ikke er opfyldt.”
(The letter can be downloaded in full length here: ”http://www.sickpigs.dk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Knud-Haugmark_opsaettende_virkning.pdf)
So admitting, that there is no legal basis for withholding the information, the ministry does it anyway, because of ”ganske særlige omstændigheder” (highly peculiar circumstances).
A leading expert, dr. Oluf Jørgensen, said, that this decision is an offence against § 63 in the Danish constitution, which reads, that you cannot suspend a public decision by filing a court case against the state’s authorities.
Never the less, the legal basis must be the Aarhus Convention, which reads, that environmental information must be publicly accessible. This is fully ignored.
The information in question is lists of farms, where the resistant bacteria MRSA 398 has been found during an official investigation in 2011. The information has been shared with one private organisation and some farm owners already.
Please consider this letter a complaint based on the fact, that Denmark does not obey the Aarhus convention.
Greetings from Knud Haugmark