INTERNATIONAL media unions demanded yesterday that treason charges against two German journalists be dropped immediately.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its branch the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) called on Germany’s government to halt the inquiry into journalists Andre Meister and Markus Beckedahl.
Reporter Mr Meister and editor-in-chief Mr Beckedahl of the Netzpolitik.org website were investigated for “suspicion of treason” over two articles about Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). If convicted, they face a minimum of a year in prison.
The articles, published in February and April, were based on leaked documents about a BfV plan to ramp up online surveillance.
After widespread criticism of the decision, prosecutor-general Harald Range said on Friday he was suspending the investigation, pending external expertise, “for the good of press and media freedom.”