Union slams federal police over raid at home of journalist Annika Smethurst
Image: Twitter @annikasmethurst
A federal police raid on a journalist’s home has sparked concern among media figures.
The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance has slammed the Australian federal police over a raid at the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst.
Ms Smethurst’s Canberra home was searched this morning, after police executed a warrant to investigate “alleged unauthorised disclosure of national security information” which “has the potential to undermine Australia’s national security”.
The raid relates to a story published last year about the government considering extending the nation’s cyber spy agency’s powers to monitor Australian citizens.
MEAA Media President, Marcus Strom, said the police raid was unacceptable.
“It’s pretty outrageous to go to someone’s house.
“It’s not the sort of country we want to live in,” he told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.
He said the raid sets a dangerous precedent for journalists.
“Some of the clauses in national security legislation go too far in effectively criminalising journalism.
“Journalists need to be able to report these sorts of things that are in the public interest,” Mr Strom said.
The Australian Federal Police have said there will not be any arrests leading from information obtained in the raid of Ms Smethurst’s home.
Updated statement re. this morning’s warrants in Canberra. This warrant relates to the alleged publishing of information classified as an official secret, which is an extremely serious matter with the potential to undermine Australia’s national security.
— AFP (@AusFedPolice) June 4, 2019
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