Lecturer of the Department
of Constitutional Law of
the Turkmen State
University named after Magtymguly
In the Prosperous Epoch of the Powerful State, in the conditions of improving the guarantees of rights and freedoms of man and citizens, the constitutional right to information is one of the most important human rights. Information becomes more important in the life of the individual, society and the state, constantly becoming more complex and diversifying, receiving more and more complex and varied tools and methods of its production, transmission, fixation, storage are significantly updated. All this leads to the need for consistent improvement and concretization of information legislation. According to the Constitution of Turkmenistan, “Everyone has the right to freely search, receive and disseminate information in a manner not prohibited by law, with the exception of those containing state secrets or other secrets protected by law” (Part 3, Article 42).
There are a large number of definitions of the concept of “information” in the scientific literature. There are several approaches to assessing, understanding and interpreting information, and not only lawyers, but also sociologists, technical workers, and philosophers have their own views on this concept. In 2014, the Law of Turkmenistan “On Information and Its Protection” was adopted. It regulates relations arising in the exercise of the right to search, collect, receive, send, produce, store, provide, disseminate and use information and the use of information technologies and ensure protection information. According to this document, information is all information or messages, regardless of how they are searched, stored, processed, presented and disseminated .
In legal relations, information also acts as a legally significant factor (object, subject, etc.). Speaking about individual issues of the implementation of the constitutional right of citizens of Turkmenistan to information, I would like to draw your attention to: theoretical and legal issues of “information rights” of citizens; mechanisms and guarantees for their implementation; the right to information and informational activity in Turkmenistan (constitutional and legal aspects); the citizen’s right to reliable information about the state of the environment, issues of informatization of the activities of public authorities; information security; protection of information; protection of personal information; issues of legal regulation of citizens’ access to information in the information and telecommunication network “Internet”, etc.
All of the above issues contain complex descriptions with the necessary degree of detailing of the constitutional and legal grounds, guarantees, mechanisms for the implementation and protection of the right to information, and most importantly – descriptions of the structure of this complex law, various aspects of its manifestation. Information can be considered as an object of civil relations, that is, as an object of non-property civil rights and as a special non-material object of law [P. 3, Art. 332]. First of all, it is necessary to single out a universal legal definition of the concept of “information”.
The constitutional right to information includes several complexes of constitutional and derived from them human and civil rights and freedoms. At the same time, constitutionally protected rights are those that have certain legal properties, which include the most essential and fundamental rights and freedoms of man and citizen.
The constitutional rights of person and citizen included in this right can be classified as follows:
1) the right to access information:
- state authorities and local self-government bodies, their officials are obliged to provide each person with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with documents and materials that directly affect his rights and freedoms (Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan);
- normative legal acts are published in the state mass media or brought to the attention of the public in another way provided for by law (Paragraph 4 of article 8 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan);
- for the purpose of providing information to the population, publicly available sources of personal information are used, including directories, telephone and address books, public electronic information resources, mass media (Paragraph 2 of Article 6 of the Law of Turkmenistan “On information about personal life and its protection”) ;
- state bodies, local executive authorities and local self-government bodies are obliged to provide access to information on their activities in accordance with the legislation of Turkmenistan, including to information posted through the information and telecommunication network and Internet networks (Paragraph 5 of Article 7 of the Law Turkmenistan “On information and its protection”);
- the right to receive scientific and technical information in any way not prohibited by law (Subparagraph 4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 11 of the Law of Turkmenistan “On State Scientific and Technical Policy”) ;
- the right to a favorable environment for life and health, reliable information about its condition and compensation for harm caused to health and property as a result of violation of environmental legislation or natural disasters (Paragraph 1 of Article 53 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan);
- the right to receive qualified, free legal aid (Article 63 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan);
- the right to participation and access to justice (Paragraph 3 of Article 46 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan).
2) the rights to disseminate information:
- the right to use information and distribute it in the field of sports and tourism, culture and education (Paragraph 10, Paragraph 2, Article 7 of the Law of Turkmenistan “On professional sports”) ;
- the right to participate in cultural life, freedom of artistic, scientific, technical creativity (Article 56 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan);
- freedom of thought and speech (Article 42 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan);
- freedom of the media (Article 4 of the Law of Turkmenistan “On the Mass Media”) ;
- the right to peacefully hold meetings, rallies, demonstrations and other mass events (Article 43 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan).
3) the rights to the protection of information:
- the right to protect scientific intellectual property (Article 11 of the Law of Turkmenistan “On Scientific Intellectual Property”) ;
- the right to protection of copyright and human interests, including the right to protection of information contained in scientific, technical, artistic, literary works (Paragraph 1 of Article 56 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan);
- the right to inviolability of private life, personal and family secrets (Article 37 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan);
- the right to protect the rights and legitimate interests of state bodies, other organizations and citizens (in the field of state secrets, Paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Law of Turkmenistan “On State Secrets”) ;
- the right to protection of information obtained in the course of legal proceedings (Art. 413 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of Turkmenistan, Art. 370 of the Code of Civil Procedure of Turkmenistan).
4) the right to protect the process and channels for providing information:
- the right to privacy of correspondence, telephone conversations, postal, telegraphic and other messages (Article 37 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan).
5) the right to a special status of information and to protection from information:
- the right to defend one's honor and dignity (Article 31 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan);
- person is considered innocent until his guilt in committing a crime is proven on the basis of the law and established by a court verdict that has entered into legal force. No one is obliged to prove their innocence (Article 34 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan);
- the right to protect children from information harmful to their health and development; protection from advertising, print media, film, video and audio recordings that harm the development of the child (Paragraph 20 of Article 6 of the Law of Turkmenistan “On state guarantees of the rights of the child”) .
6) the right to refuse to disseminate information:
- the right not to testify against oneself, close relatives and one’s spouse, children, grandparents, grandchildren (Article 14 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Turkmenistan) ;
- person cannot be forced to give evidence and explanations against himself or herself and close relatives. (Article 62 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan);
- the right not to be forced to express one’s opinion and beliefs or to refuse them (Paragraph 2 of Article 42 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan).
The right of citizens to information is one of the political and personal rights of man and citizen. Realization of the rights of citizens to information, ensuring free access to information of public importance, information openness of government bodies are the most important conditions and criteria of the rule of law. It is the realization of the right of citizens to information that ensures the real participation of citizens in the life of the state. The special significance of this right should be emphasized: it acts as a connecting element of the entire system of fundamental rights and freedoms.
Based on the fundamental norms of Article 42 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan, it can be concluded that this basic norm is a kind of source for establishing the types of subjects of the right to information, the principles of its implementation. In addition, this basic rule includes the definition of the right to information, the procedure for citizens’ access to information resources and libraries, funds and other public information systems, the procedure for reimbursing expenses related to the provision (receipt) of information
The normative and legal foundation governing information relations is very complex and is considered as the totality and interconnection of mass media, technological and communication means, which can be called “legislation in the system of information relations.” The implementation of the policy of the President of Turkmenistan aimed at the comprehensive development of the country instills firm confidence in the successful creation and improvement of the information society in Turkmenistan.
1. Türkmenistanyň Konstitusiýasy (rejelenen görnüşi). – Aşgabat: Türkmen döwlet neşirýat gullugy, 2020.
2. Maglumat we ony goramak hakynda Türkmenistanyň kanuny // Türkmenistanyň Mejlisiniň Maglumatlary. – 2014.- № 2
3. Türkmenistanyň raýat kodeksi. –A.: Türkmen döwlet neşiriýat gullugy, 2014.
4. Şahsy durmuş barada maglumat we ony goramak hakynda Türkmenistanyň kanuny // Türkmenistanyň Mejlisiniň Maglumatlary, 2017 ý. - № 1
5. Döwlet ylmy-tehniki syýasaty hakynda Türkmenistanyň kanuny // Türkmenistanyň Mejlisiniň Maglumatlary. – 2014.- № 1
6. Professional sport hakynda Tükmenistanyň kanuny // Türkmenistanyň Mejlisiniň Maglumatlary. – 2015.- № 3
7. Köpçülikleýin habar beriş serişdeleri hakynda Türkmenistanyň kanuny // Türkmenistanyň Mejlisiniň Maglumatlary. – 2012.- № 3-4
8. Ylmy intellektual eýeçilik hakynda Türkmenistanyň kanuny // Türkmenistanyň Mejlisiniň Maglumatlary. – 1992.- № 9
9. Döwlet syrlary hakynda Türkmenistanyň kanuny // Türkmenistanyň Mejlisiniň Maglumatlary. – 2014.- №
10.Çaganyň hukuklarynyň döwlet kepillikleri hakynda Türkmenistanyň kanuny // Türkmenistanyň Mejlisiniň Maglumatlary. – 2014.- № 2
11.Türkmenistanyň Administratiw hukuk bozulmalar hakynda kodeksi // Türkmenistanyň Mejlisiniň Maglumatlary. – 2013.- № 3