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

 


21 Egyptians Beheaded

Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. More>>

Protests In Bil’in Honoring Slain US Citizens

Protesters at demonstration in Bil’in honoring slain US citizens face attacks and arrests by Israeli forces. More>>

Resolution Targeting Sources Of Financing For ISIL

Ambassadors representing two countries under attack from ISIL, Bashar Ja’afari (right) of Syria, and Mohamed Ali Alhakim of Iraq, speak to journalists following the adoption of a Security Council resolution targeting sources of financing for ... More>>

ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - Support for Authorization for Use of Military Force
  • "Pakistan Probably Harboured Osama Bin Laden"

    Former ISI head Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani tells Al Jazeera Pakistan probably harboured Osama Bin Laden More>>

    "Pakistan Probably Harboured Osama Bin Laden"

    Former ISI head Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani tells Al Jazeera Pakistan probably harboured Osama Bin Laden More>>

    ISM Honours Kayla Mueller

    Abdullah Abu Rahma, coordinator of the popular committee in the village of Bil’in where Kayla joined the protests, told ISM: “Kayla came to Palestine to stand in solidarity with us. She marched with us and faced the military that occupies our ... More>>


    US Measles Outbreak: UN Urges Parents Vaccinate Children

    3 February 2015 – Parents in the United States must vaccinate their children against measles in order to maintain the high levels of immunity necessary in keeping outbreaks of the aggressively contagious virus small and contained, the United Nations World ... More>>

    Ebola: Large-Scale Vaccine Trials Under Way In Liberia

    WHO welcomed the donation by the Public Health Agency of Canada of 800 vials of one of the leading candidate Ebola vaccines, rVSV-ZEBOV. Photo: WHO/M. Missioneiro (file) More>>

    Security Council Denounce Murder Of Jordanian Pilot

    3 February 2015 – For the second time in as many days, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Security Council have jointly condemned the brutal killing of a civilian by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – this time deploring ... More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news