I'm interested in other people's opinions as to how the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be interpreted when it comes to the question of the right to information.
Article 26 promises free (and mandatory!) elementary education for all. Higher education opportunities must exist, but can be made merit-based. Article 27 protects intellectual property and guarantees the right of all people to participate in cultural activities, enjoy the arts, and reap the benefits of scientific advancement.
If a government were to bar people from schools, as the Taliban did for girls and women, it would be violating the rights outlined in this Declaration. So would a government that shut down all the theaters or blocked distribution of effective new medicines. However, it seems that the Declaration does not guarantee people any right to other forms of information, including information about what is happening outside their own country or what the government of their own country is up to!
Article 13 permits people to both leave and return to their homeland, so they should be free to see for themselves what life in other places is like. Yet this is not something people would be likely to do if they'd been lied to about the dangers of traveling abroad or harsh conditions in other nations. Article 21.3 says "the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government", which might offer some protection against massive government deceptions or the withholding of important information, but it is not clear to me that this would apply to all cases.
If the "will of the people" gives officials power through fair elections, can the officials then do as they like or are they required to keep the public informed as to their activities?