Potential prosecution of Dan Oakes illustrates urgent need for Media Freedom Act
The ABC has revealed the AFP’s recommendation regarding the Afghan Files story is for the Commonwealth DPP to consider charging journalist Dan Oakes for his role in the leak.
ABC’s Managing Director David Anderson said in a statement “The Afghan Files is factual and important reporting which exposed allegations about Australian soldiers committing war crimes in Afghanistan. Its accuracy has never been challenged.”
Peter Greste, AJF’s spokesperson, can be quoted as saying the following:
“Australia is the only Five Eyes nation that has similar levels of national security protections, but no press freedom protections written into our legal code. To find balance between these two fundamental pillars of democracy, we urgently need a Media Freedom Act.
“The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom has been calling for a Media Freedom Act since May 2019, three weeks before the AFP’s raids on Annika Smethurst’s home and ABC’s Ultimo offices.
“The news that an Australian journalist who reported in the public interest is now at risk of being prosecuted by the Commonwealth DPP is a plain example that we need to strike this balance urgently, or risk further damaging our democracy.”