Interior Minister Peter Dutton has rejected requests to abandon investigations into journalists targeted in recent police raids.
Two journalists from ABC and a News Corp reporter are under police investigation after publishing separate stories based on leaked government information.
Appearing alongside Labor leader Anthony Albanese on Today This morning, Mr. Dutton seemed to imply that the ABC journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark, along with News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst, had committed a crime.
However, the minister insisted that he would not interfere in the police investigation.
"If you have top secret documents and they have been leaked, it's a crime by law," Dutton said Today.
"No one is above the law and the police have a job to do under the law." I think it is up to the police to investigate, do it independently and make a decision regardless of whether or not they pursue. "
"These are laws that date back decades in Western democracies such as ours, where, if you have top secret documents that have been leaked, it is a crime under the law and the police are obliged to investigate a matter related to them .and they will. "
The heads of both media organizations have written to the Minister of Internal Affairs, demanding that actions against their journalists cease.
Mr Dutton rejected their requests.
He comes when the freed journalist Peter Greste launched the raids during a press conference in London.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese supported media organizations, saying it would be a "common achievement" for the investigations to be abandoned.
"Quite clearly the government needs to show leadership on this issue," Albanian said Today.
Police raids have attracted international attention, with high-profile human rights lawyer Amal Clooney who publicly challenged Australia on press freedom.
& # 39; NATIONAL SECURITY MUST BE OF PROTECTION OF THE FREEDOM & # 39; OF PRINTING & # 39;
Journalist Peter Greste said that Australia was compared to Iran following the raids.
Mr. Greste gave a severe review of the use of police raids to suppress journalists and informants at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London yesterday.
The media freedom activist, who was imprisoned in Egypt for over a year for his reporting for Al Jazeera, said Australia needs an urgent review of media laws.
He said when he spoke with a colleague at the Persian ABC office on Australian incursions that his colleague replied: "So it's just like the Iran of that time".
Greste also criticized the current federal government review, stating that it was formed by a commission committed to national security rather than media freedom.
"National security must surely concern the protection of press freedom," he said.
"At the moment the Australian government has called a commission of inquiry. It is a security committee, the same committee that has waved much of the legislation supporting these raids. I think it is the wrong approach."
Greste said media companies must be involved in drafting new laws to ensure that the right balance is reached.
"If you are trying to find a balance between press freedom and national security, both parties must be involved in that process," he said.
"If we do we will take a long road towards protecting national security, freedom of the press and the role of democracies."
He arrived when John Momoh, president of the Canali Media Group of Nigeria, said he was "horrified" by the crackdown in Australia on press freedom.
Nigeria's Media Channels group suffered the death of a journalist at the hands of Boko Haram and the station was closed by the Nigerian government.
Mr. Momoh said he knew there were some problems in African countries, but he was surprised that a Western country like Australia would have police raids on journalists.
"I am interested in coming from Australia; one might think that these are democracies that understand the importance of press freedom," he said. "It's something that bores me and I'm still trying to come to terms that this is happening in Australia."
He said his station was closed for two days because he reported a telegraphic news report that there was a problem with the president's health.
"When you think of Australia, it's supposed to be a good democracy and you start wondering what's going on in the world," he added.
AFP also sought out travel details of ABC journalist Dan Oakes, in what was seen as an attempt to intimidate whistleblowers.
The former Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, also diverted Australia's press freedom questions while she chaired a discussion between representatives of Jamaica, Ghana, Rwanda and Namibia.
Asked about the raids in Australia and the criticisms of Australia at Acaliere for Human Rights, Amal Clooney replied: "Fortunately, the Australian foreign minister was here yesterday when Amal made these comments, so any comment that I did would be superfluous ".
Ms. Clooney said: "What happens in a country like Australia or the United Kingdom or the United States will be watched by all the other world leaders and could be used as an excuse to further suppress journalists. Journalists from all over the world are less confident if the rhetoric, or even the policies or laws, of states that should be free are actually a threat to journalists in those countries ".
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