Government - ABC Asks Dutton To Stop
The ABC has written to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to ask that police actions against two journalists be halted.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) raided the ABC's Sydney offices last month over the ABC's 2017 series of stories outlining misconduct and unlawful killings committed by AUstralian special forces troops in Afghanistan. It's believed that Newscorp wrote a similar letter over the AFP's raid of the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst.
ABC managing director David Anderson also wrote a memo to staff explaining the plea to Peter Dutton:
"As I flagged on 24 June, the ABC is challenging the legality of the raid and is seeking the return of all documents. The action will begin in the Federal Court in early August," he wrote. "We are disappointed that the fate of our journalists, Dan Oakes and Sam Clark, remains unclear.
"We have written to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who has responsibility for the AFP, asking that any action against the pair cease," Mr. Anderson continued. "Failing that, that the ABC be briefed on when and how the AFP action will be resolved."
Dutton's moves against a free media brought condemnation from around the world, and even attracted the attention of international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.
"What happens in a country like Australia, or the UK or the US will be looked at by every other leader in the world and potentially used as an excuse to clamp down even further on journalists," Ms. Clooney said at a conference on media freedom in London. "I think journalists all over the world are less safe if the rhetoric or even policies or laws in states that are supposed to be free, are actually a threat to journalists in those countries."