The executive board of the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) sent a letter to Attorney General Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein urging him to drop the charges against Journalist Uri Blau,
Ynet learned Wednesday.
Blau is the journalist to whom Anat Kam
delivered thousands of classified military documents.
Kam was convicted of espionage and sentenced to four and a half years in prison. Blau is facing charges of unauthorized possession of classified information and faces up to seven years in jail.
IPI – which is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists "dedicated to safeguarding freedom of the press" – expressed outrage over the decision. The letter said that "The prosecution of Uri Blau would undermine press freedom in general and investigative journalism in particular in Israel."
- For the full letter click here
The letter was signed by all members of IPI's executive board, including some of the most prominent journalists, editors and publishers in the United States,
the United Kingdom, Germany,
Slovakia, Russia, Pakistan, Japan, Spain, Austria, Kenya, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Finland, India, Switzerland, Poland, Turkey
and Trinidad and Tobago.
IPI stressed that its own review of the case has derived that Blau handled the classified information with all due care and used it only for the purpose of his feature, which was published by Haaretz, and "Was of clear interest to the public."
The IPI's condemnation of the decision to press criminal charges against Blau followed harsh criticism my prominent members of the Israeli media, who damned it as a "Crushing blow to freedom of press in Israel" and a "Dark day for Israeli democracy."
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