World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


RSF: Whistleblowers could face up to 10 years’ imprisonment

AUSTRALIA: Whistleblowers could face up to 10 years’ imprisonment, warns RSF

July 24, 2014

PARIS: (Reporters Without Borders / Pacific Media Watch): Reporters Without Borders has warned that a proposed amendment to national security laws designed to clamp down on Edward Snowden-style whistleblowers could see Australian journalists being jailed for up to 10 years.

The proposed new National Security Legislation Amendment Bill invokes the "national interest" in seeking a total ban on publishing any information about the operations of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Under the proposed new law, journalists and media outlets who publish ASIO information face up to 10 years in prison.

Reporters Without Borders says that human rights violations could thus easily be covered up by the ASIO.

Benjamin Ismaïl, head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk said:
“This bill is dangerously imprecise and does not take account of the public interest in any shape or form, and as such it is a threat to freedom of information and a violation of international standards”.

“Whistleblowers should not be subject to threats of this kind when they are carrying out the important task of disseminating news and information on behalf of their fellow citizens.

“We call on the attorney-general to scrap this bill, which is far too restrictive to be amended appropriately.”

According to Reporters Without Borders, the proposed new law aims to "avoid the emergence of an Australian Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who published transcripts of wiretaps by the National Security Agency".

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) had previously aired a story based on Snowden's documents which showed that Australian intelligence had tapped the phones of Indonesian leaders, including that of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. This raised the ire of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who has said that “news that endangers the security of our country frankly shouldn’t be fit to print”.

Criminal law barrister Greg Barns told The Guardian newspaper that the amendments were "unprecedented" and could see the prosecution and jailings of journalists from news outlets including The New York Times, The Guardian, Wikileaks and any of the other outlets which currently reported on intelligence documents and operations.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Israeli Soldier Kills PA Minister At Non-Violent Protest

Yesterday, an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian Authority (PA) Settlment minister, Ziad Abu Ein, at a non-violent demonstration in the village of Turmusaya. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Ban on Palestinians claiming compensation against military
  • Pakistan School Killings

    GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a co-educational school ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Sobering Data On American's Apathy About CIA Torture

    Despite a scathing report on torture, a majority of survey respondents approve of the CIA's grisly methods. More>>

    Sea Shepherd Intercepts Toothfish Poachers

    Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vessel Thunder, at 62 15’ South, 81 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) ... More>>

    The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

    We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

    ALSO:


    Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

    Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

    ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • UNICEF Mobilizes To Reach People Affected By Typhoon

    As Typhoon Hagupit wreaks havoc through the Philippines, UNICEF is acting quickly to support the Filipino government’s response to the emergency, providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the areas hardest hit by cyclone-force ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • FAO - FAO praises government for early typhoon warnings
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news