PACE urges protection of whistleblowers from retaliation
MOSCOW, October 2 (RAPSI) – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution Wednesday calling for the protection of whistleblowers from retaliation, as long as they acted in good faith and followed procedures in disclosing state secrets.
Resolution 1954 (2013), entitled “National security and access to information,” stressed that “A person who discloses wrongdoings in the public interest (whistle-blower) should be protected from any type of retaliation, provided he or she acted in good faith and followed applicable procedures.”
Another key point was that violations of human rights and humanitarian law should not be kept under wraps on the basis of national security concerns.
A statement announcing the resolution’s adoption explained that information should be accessible in cases where public information in the information outweighs the interests of the authorities in keeping it shrouded.
A series of documents accompanied the resolution, including an opinion of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. The opinion proposed a series of amendments, each of which were accompanied by explanatory notes. Various of these notes directly referenced famous modern whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning.
“The recent disclosures of secret information by two American citizens, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, have focused wide international attention on the limitations of freedom of information on national security grounds… Therefore, the Parliamentary Assembly held a current affairs debate on 27 June 2013 on State interference with privacy on the Internet. The report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights is hence very timely and important.”