This is an unprecedented and chilling development for the media and the public’s right to know.
The AFP are searching for material relating to an ABC report, Afghan files: Exposing Deadly Secrets of Australia's Special Force, about unlawful killings and misconduct by Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan.
Their search warrant is reportedly extremely wide covering handwritten notes, diaries, correspondence, photos, sketches and passwords; and allows the AFP to “add, copy, delete, or alter” material in the ABC’s computers.
This is an egregious incursion on journalists' ability to report on matters of public interest and scrutinise the activities of our Government.
Today isn’t an isolated incident. Just a day before, NewsCorp journalist Annika Smethhurst’s home was similarly raided by the AFP following her report about a leaked plan to allow the Government to spy on Australians.
And another journalist Ben Fordham from radio show 2GB has been informed that he is the subject of an inquiry about the reporting of people coming to Australia by boat to escape persecution “which could lead to an AFP investigation”.
This is a chilling development for the Australian public. This isn’t just about the media, it’s about the public’s right to know. Please donate to empowering Australians to hold our Government accountable to the rule of law in the courts.