Words by: Jonathon Davidson
The Guardian today posted an exclusive article featuring acquired communications documents between the Department of Defence and the Australian Federal Police. The documents discuss a number of Australian journalists reporting on asylum seekers, and authorise the referral process of those journalists for ‘investigation’.
Familiar names like news.com.au and Herald Sun are listed by one Mark Antil at the Australian Department Of Defence who authored the referral documents – or was working there at least, as of December 2013.
Selected online news articles deemed as breaches of security are included within the document as part of an ‘incident report’.
The following statement is attached to the incident report of a News.com.au article published online in November 2013 in which the journalist reported on a vessel which was intercepted, had its passengers removed and was sunk by Australian forces before being towed out of the area.
“This incident constitutes a potential breach of operational security and potentially the commission of a criminal offence under the Commonwealth Crimes Act.”
The documents from the Department Of Defence to the Australian Federal Police were made available via freedom of information requests to the AFP and Australian Customs as well as separate investigations by The Guardian.
Today’s exclusive via The Guardian did not have a journalist’s name attached.
In the article, it is reported that nearly all referrals of Journalists to the AFP have involved Journalists dealing with immigration matters.