A group of leading international journalists sent a letter to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein late Monday night urging him to drop all charges against Ha’aretz journalist Uri Blau in the name of press freedom.
Blau, who published excerpts from a cache of classified military documents, was charged last month with aggravated espionage for his alleged unauthorized possession of classified materials and, if convicted, could face a seven-year prison sentence.
In the letter to Weinstein, the journalists – all of whom are executive board members of the International Press Institute (IPI) – called on the attorney-general to drop all criminal charges against Blau, pointing out “it is inevitable that journalists covering military and political affairs around the world will end up possessing secret documents.”
“It is vital for any democratic system that they not be prosecuted for this, in particular if, as in the case of Uri Blau, the documents are used solely to serve a strong public interest,” said the letter, which was signed by 21 journalists from some 14 countries.
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