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AFP Media Raids — A Disturbing Threat to Press Freedom

September 3, 2019

Lately, we have seen a series of raids by the AFP on media outlets. This is both a disturbing Government attack on press freedom and highlights the need for strong protections for whistle-blowers in the public and private sectors, in this case in The Afghan Files.

Journalism relies on being able to protect sources that are shedding light on secretive practices and poor behaviour by governments and businesses. A journalists’ code of ethics prevents them from revealing their sources.

The ABC raid is alarming and seriously threatens journalists’ ability to properly publicly scrutinise matters of national security and defence. Telling uncomfortable truths is a journalists job. It should be protected and not subjected to the powers of the state.

The union movement experienced a disgraceful abuse of state power in 2017, when the AWU offices were raided by representatives of the Registered Organisations Commission and the AFP.

“Two raids in just 24 hours on journalists and news organisations is a serious impingement on the freedom of press in Australia.

We cannot allow police raids of working journalists and news organisations in Australia to become the norm. These raids are designed to intimidate journalists and media organisations and hunt down sources that reveal what governments are doing. These raids also come at a time when the public’s right to know is crucial.   – Liam Obrien, ACTU Assistant Secretary

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