Threats to media freedom and surveillance of citizens (the Miranda case): - extracts from the Council and Commission statements - extracts from the political group speakers

Type: News   Reference: 94477   Duration: 00:05:00  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 11/09/2013   First transmission: 11/09/2013
The UK's detention and anti-terror law investigation of David Miranda, partner of Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, and its possible consequences for media freedom were discussed by MEPs in a debate on Tuesday evening. Most speakers questioned the proportionality of the measure and asked for a thorough investigation. The European Commission stressed that this case is already under judicial review in the UK courts.

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00:00:05 EXTERIOR SHOT of the European Parliament, Strasbourg 00:00:05
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE (English) Kroes Neelie, Vice President of the European Commission, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda : "People must be free to hold opinions, with the freedom to receive and give out information without constant interference. And that includes the freedom of journalists to carry out their work. Of course freedom of expression is not absolute. For example if public safety or national security or other rights are at stake. But limitations must be necessary and proportionate." 00:00:32
00:00:42 SOUNDBITE (English) Kroes Neelie, Vice President of the European Commission, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda : "Some have express serious doubts about the case of David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, in particular whether his detention for 9 hours, search and confiscation of the possessions were proportionate and justified. That particular case is under judiciary review in the UK Court, and where relevant, that review will call on EU law as well as the European Court of Human Rights. Of course, where there are ongoing procedures the Commission cannot take position on questions of law about that case. But I do want to assure you about wider work we are undertaking on the area of media freedom and pluralism." 00:00:47
00:01:29 SOUNDBITE (German) Manfred WEBER (EPP, DE) : English translation : "Every state has the right to define its own rules; For example the rule that certain documents are sensitive and classified as secret, and if certain people take such documents out of the country in order to make news of them then that is a violation of national law, in this case the UK law, and the Parliament in the UK has passed a legislation and the British authorities have the right therefore to ensure that that existing law is investigated." 00:00:36
00:02:05 SOUNDBITE (English) Claude MORAES (S&D, UK) : "The reason we are here is that there was doubt as to whether that UK act was being proportionate and correctly implemented. In the words of the former Attorney General, the use of that power was both not proportionate and incorrectly used. When someone, an examining officer knows that someone is not a terrorist, they cannot detain that person under that act." 00:00:32
00:02:37 SOUNDBITE (English) Claude MORAES (S&D, UK) : "This particular act did not come as a result of 11 9, it came in relation with the North Ireland in the year 2000, we should not be applying such legislation in relation with someone who had close proximity to Glenn Greenwald." 00:00:14
00:02:51 SOUNDBITE (English) Sophia IN'T VELD (ALDE, NL) : "Secret laws, secret courts, secret budgets for secret services, all citizens being watched by the secret services, blanked surveillance, journalist, whistleblowers held on grant of national security, surely today's debate must be about North Korea or Belarus ? Oh no, it's about us ! It's about the free western world. Colleagues, we have to take a very close look at what is happening here, because it is very very serious." 00:00:34
00:03:25 SOUNDBITE (English) Sophia IN'T VELD (ALDE, NL) : "Freedom of the media is clearly under threat, because when there is harassment and intimidation, they will have a chilling effect on the media, it will lead to self-censorship, so this is not about whether there is only one or two cases, this is about the impact on the free media. We know about the Miranda case, we know there is a case in Germany, we know about whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and many others. They are essential to ddemocracy. They may sometimes be a pain in the ass mister Weber, but they are necessary for democracy and yes they are breaking the law, but sometimes Mister Weber that is the only way to expose the illegal acts of States, the only way to expose violations of international laws, of national law indeed and Human Rights. " 00:00:52
00:04:17 SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (Greens/EFA, DE) : "Let me say, first of all, that it's now over 12 weeks ago that Edward Snowden and the Guardian has revealed the information on the massive surveillance programme, also by EU member states intelligence services, and it's a shame that since then there is no EU government really investigating in their activities of their own intelligence services and drawing consequences out of these measures : I think that has to stop, these surveillance measures are still ongoing !" 00:00:39
00:04:56 CUTAWAYS : 2 shots 00:00:04
00:05:00 END 00:00:00
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