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Fight the prosecution of Witness K!

The Turnbull Government has authorised criminal prosecution against a former intelligences officer, known only as Witness K, who exposed illegal spying by the Howard Government.

Can you sign the petition demanding Attorney General Christian Porter stop this politically motivated attack?

In 2004 the Howard Government illegally bugged the offices of the fledgling East Timorese government. Why? To swindle the impoverished nation out of its valuable natural resources during critical negotiations.

Now unless we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Witness K and their lawyer Bernard Collaery, who has also been charged, they could both spend years in prison for standing up for what's right.

Can you sign the petion today?
Witness K is a former intelligence officer who blew the whistle on the Howard Government's illegal spying on East Timor's treaty negotiations.

This illegal spying gave Australia a massive advantage in ongoing negotiations over petroleum resources in the Timor Sea.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs at the time – Alexander Downer – went on to take a lucrative position at a corporation that also benefited greatly from those negotiations.

Witness K and their lawyer, Bernard Collaery, have just been charged in a case that will have massive ramifications for free speech and government accountability in Australia.
The explosive revelations about Witness K came within 24 hours of the Turnbull Government – with the support of Labor – passing new police state laws threatening journalists, whistleblowers and fellow activists with heavy prison sentences.

The only protection these new laws offer journalists and protestersus is the Attorney General's 'discretion' to not consent to a on whether or not to approve prosecution. Porter's decision to prosecute Witness K is no coincidence – it's an act of intimidation against all future whistleblowers.

We simply cannot let Porter's decision to prosecute Witness K go unchallenged. The future of our democracy and the safety of future whistleblowers depends on it.

References [1] Andrew Wilkie uses parliamentary privilege to reveal intelligence charges against 'Witness K' and lawyer Bernard Collaery, ABC News, 28 June 2018 [2] National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017 [3] Labor and Coalition agree on espionage laws that critics fear would 'criminalise' journalism, The Guardian, 5 June 2018
Porter would have us believe his decision was purely administrative. But legal and human rights experts are lining up to contradict him.

Professor David Dixon, former dean of UNSW Law School, described it as a "crude act of political revenge against a whistleblower", while Bruce Haigh, a former high ranking Australian diplomat to Indonesia described Porter's decision as "stupid and vindictive".

For their courageous actions, Witness K and Collaery are each facing two years in prison – and the stakes for our democracy couldn't be higher. If we let the Turnbull Government get away with this abuse of our civil liberties, it is all but certain future whistleblowers will shy away from exposing government crimes. Attorney General Porter authorised the prosecution. And he alone has the power to stop it.

References [1] Witness K: ex-judge condemns prosecution of Timor-Leste bugging whistleblower, The Guardian, 5 July 2018 [2] Prosecution of Witness K and his lawyer is a disgraceful act of revenge, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 July 2018


To Attorney General Christian Porter:

Stop the prosecution of Witness K and their lawyer Bernard Collaery, and never again use criminal prosecution to punish or intimidate those who have exposed government crimes or wrongdoing.

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