New York, June 4, 2019–Australian Federal Police today raided the Canberra home of Annika Smethurst, a politics editor for the Sunday Telegraph, and searched her property, computer, and cellphone, according to news reports. In a statement, police said the search warrant was part of an investigation into the alleged leak of national security information. In April 2018, Smethurst reported on a government proposal to expand powers for Australia’s cyber-intelligence agency. The report included images from a top-secret document, the BBC reported.
“Journalists have a duty to publish information, including leaked information, that lets the people know what the government is doing in their name,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. “The raid on Sunday Telegraph journalist Annika Smethurst is clearly designed to intimidate national security reporters from doing such a public service.”