Freedom of Expression and Press

Council of Europe resolution on whistleblower protection praised

The German Association of Journalists (Deutscher Journalisten Verband, DJV) has praised a Council of Europe resolution calling for the protection of whistleblowers.



Whistleblower protection

The whistleblower resolution states, “A person, who discloses wrongdoings in the public interest…should be protected from any type of retaliation, provided he or she acted in good faith and followed applicable procedures.”

Pointing to the recent exposure by Edward Snowden of UK and USA intelligence agencies’ eavesdropping operations, DJV chair Micheal Konken hailed the resolution as an “encouraging signal”.

“Journalists are reliant on informants for controversial stories and for documents to aid research,” said Konken.

Press freedom

“Whistleblowers are not game for security services to hunt down when trying to find a weak point; informants play a crucial role in upholding press freedom,” Konken explained.

Konken called for member states of the Council of Europe to follow the resolution with swift action. According to Konken, state legal systems should differentiate between espionage and the public exposure of state wrong-doing and crimes.

Rafaela Wilde is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE.

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