03:35 GMT30 October 2020
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    Head of the IFJ's Human Rights and Safety Office Ernest Sagaga said that even in democratic countries press freedom should not be taken for granted, and must be constantly and courageously defended.

    Markus Beckedahl, founder of the website Netzpolitik.org, right, and author of a blog Andre Meister, left, pose in their office in Berlin, Germany
    © AP Photo / Britta Pedersen/dpa via AP
    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — A treason investigation against two German journalists from the Netzpolitik.org blog sets a dangerous precedent for other countries intending to silence dissent, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) told Sputnik.

    Last week, netzpolitik.org was notified by federal prosecutors that the two of its journalists would face treason charges after they posted confidential government papers online earlier this year, revealing how the German government sought additional funding to expand surveillance of social media networks.

    “We are worried that this kind of action may actually encourage less democratic countries to do this kind of things, and even worse, and simply defend themselves by saying look – we are doing what even Germany is doing,” the head of the IFJ's Human Rights and Safety Office Ernest Sagaga said.

    He stressed that the investigation showed that even in democratic countries press freedom should not be taken for granted, and must be constantly and courageously defended.

    Following widespread protests in support of the bloggers of of free speech, Germany’s chief federal prosecutor Harald Range canceled the probe.

    On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's deputy spokesperson, said the chancellor fully supported Justice Minister Heiko Maas who expressed doubts the leaked documents constituted a “state secret.”

    Related:

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    Some 1,300 Protest Treason Probe Against Bloggers in Berlin
    Germany Halts Treason Probe Into Blogger Security Leak – Reports
    Tags:
    netzpolitik.org, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Ernest Sagaga, Germany
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