A British newspaper editor has called for more protection for whistle blowers, while giving evidence at a European Parliament inquiry into alleged US spying.
Alan Rusbridger heads up the Guardian, which led on coverage of leaks made by former American intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
“The combination of the use of punitive laws against whistle blowers and inappropriate legislation to silence the work of journalists. I think people in Western governments ought to think about what kind of signal they are sending to the rest of the world by this kind of behaviour,” he said via a video link.
Earlier this year, British authorities held the partner of the Guardian journalist covering the leaks and reportedly threatened legal action against the newspaper.
“Journalists being harassed in a member state of the European Union. For reporting on a situation with an objective interest of the European public. Of the European ordinary citizens. I am appalled,” said Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.
Once its heard all of the evidence, the Brussels inquiry will decide on any recommendations for boosting protection in the future.
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