Liberty Victoria concerned about press freedom limits on exposing unlawful government conduct

Liberty Victoria is concerned by news that the Australian Federal Police has recommended that prosecutors consider laying charges against ABC journalist Dan Oakes. The recommended charges relate to Mr Oakes’ reporting on alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. It has never been suggested that the allegations are untrue or inaccurate. 

Freedom of the press is fundamental to maintaining a strong democracy in Australia. The starting point must be that the voting public have a right to know about decisions made on their behalf. The press must be free to report without fear of prosecution except in the most exceptional circumstances.

If it is against the law to expose unlawful conduct engaged in by or on behalf of the Australian Government, then any such law is unjust and poses a risk to our democracy and should be abolished.

For enquiries contact Liberty Victoria at or phone 03 9670 6422