Friday, July 03, 2020

No freedom of the press in Australia

Three years ago the ABC used leaked information to expose war crimes by Australian troops in Afghanistan. Since then the chief of Australia's special forces has admitted that his troops committed war crimes. But guess who the Australian government is prosecuting?

Police have referred allegations against an ABC journalist relating to the Afghan Files to prosecutors, the public broadcaster says.

ABC managing director David Anderson said it was a "disappointing and disturbing development" and the broadcaster was fully backing its reporter, Dan Oakes.

"The allegations concern Dan's reporting on the series of stories published by the ABC in 2017 known as the Afghan Files. They were also what prompted the AFP's extraordinary raid on the ABC's Ultimo headquarters last year," he said in a statement.

"This is a disappointing and disturbing development. 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."

This is outrageous. There is a clear public interest in exposing wrongdoing and breaches of international law by the Australian government, and that is exactly what the ABC did. And if that is a crime, then Australia is a naked tyranny.