United Nations, Jun 8 : The UN Human Rights office has urged Australia to uphold Press freedom, after a decision there to investigate the country’s national broadcaster for reports it ran on alleged unlawful killings involving troops in Afghanistan.
Spokesperson Rupert Colville told journalists in Geneva that “freedom of the media as you all know very well, is essential to the protection of all human rights. Violations often come to light solely because of the work of investigative journalists who play a crucial role in fostering transparency and holding Governments and other national authorities accountable for their actions.”
He added that “Australia like any other State must abide by its international human rights obligations including by ensuring that its national legislation is in line with international law.”Citing the UN Human Rights Committee, Mr Colville noted its comment that the police probe was “incompatible with international human rights law to invoke national security laws to suppress or withhold from the public information of legitimate public interest that does not harm national security”.(UNi)