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BIM Position No. 5 | 2015: HCB scandal in Carinthia and the right to obtain information?

On the occasion of the HCB scandal in Carinthia the BIM publishes its fifth issue in a series of comments on relevant, current developments and topics of human rights.

Although in March 2014 the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) already knew that the limit value of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), which is one of the most toxic industry chemicals, was exceeded, it did not publish this information until November 2015. The withholding of this information was justified by the official secrecy. However, according to the Austrian constitution, official secrecy applies only to certain conditions as for example “in the interest of keeping the national security, public safety and order”.

The fifth „BIM Position“ is an article written by Hannes Tretter, Co-Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, in cooperation with Marina Kaspar and Christine Sabler on the topic of the HCB scandal in Carinthia and the right to obtain information, when danger for the environment occurs.

The position, which is currently available in German only, may be found in the attachment.