Police raids on journalists: very disturbing
5th Jun 2019
The Australian Federal Police raids on a News Limited journalist yesterday and the ABC today are very disturbing attempts to harass and bully journalists and their sources, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance.
“This is frightening stuff,” said Mr Greg Barns, criminal justice spokesperson, ALA.
“Both stories are clearly within the public interest. This intimidating behaviour by the police poses a serious risk to our democracy.
“Scrutiny of government agencies by the media is critical to a democracy, and it is very concerning that these security agencies seem to want to avoid any examination.
“The law must be able to protect journalists and their sources from harassment by police and security agencies - the public interest defence must be available to the media and their sources in the case of prosecution.
“Journalism has a role to play in ensuring that government operates within the confines of the law and in the public interest. True government accountability is possible only where journalists are able to report in a frank and fearless manner.
“This requires vigilant protection of both the rights to freedom of speech and privacy for journalists and their sources.”
The ALA is a national association of lawyers, academics and other professionals dedicated to protecting and promoting justice, freedom and the rights of the individual.