Stefania Maurizi, John Goetz and Christian Mihr discussed in Georg Büchner Buchladen (bookshop) in Berlin about: “What is the Purpose of Journalism if War Crimes Are Not Allowed to be Published?”. Many more wanted to listen to the event, but 80 people was the limit, what the little bookshop could give space to.

The event was organised by Assange Support Berlin in cooperation with Reporters without Borders, Georg Büchner Buchladen, Disruption Network Lab & Boiling Head Media.

What is the purpose of journalism if war crimes are not allowed to be published? More and more secrecy among those in power, more and more surveillance of journalists.

80 press freedom and human rights organizations from across Europe appeal to the Council of the European Union in a joint letter to protect journalists against surveillance software. The long-awaited regulation against Pegasus and similar spywares is now to be softened: with the justification of “national security” as an exception, state Trojans against the press will now ultimately be legalized.

The German investigative journalist Gaby Weber has been suing the Federal Intelligence Service for years for the release of the Eichmann files: The BND extended the legal secrecy period first from 30 to 60 years and then indefinitely. The public and the guild of historians are to be kept away from the true circumstances of the so-called Eichmann abduction.

Like her German colleague Gaby Weber, it costs Italian investigative journalist Stefania Maurizi a lot of energy, time and (donations and her own) money to sue the authorities for secret documents with the Freedom of Information Act. It is thanks to Maurizi that we know to some extent which authorities maintained the detention of Julian Assange and how. Nils Melzer also worked with her research.

Her book, now published in English under the title «Secret Power», explains how Wikileaks changed journalism and what the current state of journalism is, at a time when publishing secret war crimes is criminalized for all by the endless detention of Julian Assange. Maurizi ends her book with the following conclusion:

“I want to live in a society where it is possible to reveal war crimes and torture without ending up in prison and on the brink of suicide three times, as happened to Chelsea Manning. Without being forced to live in exile, like Edward Snowden. Without losing my freedom for over ten years and risking suicide, like Julian Assange. I want to live in a society where secret power is accountable to the law and the public for its atrocities. Where those who go to jail are the war criminals, not those who have the conscience and the courage to expose them, and the journalists who reveal their crimes. Today, such an authentically democratic society does not exist. And no one is going to create it for us. It is up to us to fight for it. For those who are with us, for those who are not and even for those who are against us.”

Stefania Maurizi, John Goetz and Christian Mihr discuss in this video steps towards this.