The German government informed Netzpolitik.org that it was investigating the digital rights media outlet, specifically two reporters and an “unknown source” for treason after it reported on leaked documents detailing the government’s mass surveillance. Netzpolitik decried the “attack on press freedom” and vowed, “We will not let ourselves be intimidated by the investigations and we will continue our critical and independent journalism – complete with original documents.”
Public support of Netzpolitik and condemnation of the investigation grew quickly, and journalists around the world have cosigned a statement of protest:
The investigation against Netzpolitik.org for treason and their unknown sources is an attack against the free press. Charges of treason against journalists performing their essential work is a violation of the fifth article of the German constitution. We demand an end to the investigation into Netzpolitik.org and their unknown sources.
Courage’s Julian Assange, Sarah Harrison and Diani Barreto cosigned the statement.
Amid public pressure, as the BBC reports, “Germany’s justice minister has sacked the country’s top prosecutor, who had accused the government of interfering with a treason investigation.”