Media Rights Agenda (MRA) joined 156 other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) worldwide on August 6, 2013 to send a joint letter to the United States President, Barrack Obama requesting the US government to stop pursuing whistleblower, Edward Snowden, and his like who work to defend human, digital and media rights.
The Executive Director of MRA, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, said they are calling on President Obama to protect not prosecute whistleblowers and carry out a full, public investigation into the legality of the National Security Agency’s action.
According to Ojo, the disclosed information of Edward Snowden has “triggered a necessary and long-delayed public debate about mass surveillance online everywhere.”
“Because of him, we have learnt that much of our online life is being systematically intercepted and monitored by governments.”
He said, rather than investigate and prosecute those who have ordered and conducted one of the most unprecedented global violations of peoples’ rights, the US government has chosen to figuratively shoot the messenger, and that European governments have acquiesced and been quick to help.
Ojo indicated great concern over the ill effect the manhunt will have on governments that rely on the US example.
“They will justify their own attacks on their own whistleblowers and journalists who put themselves at significant risk to expose or report wrongdoing, corruption, or other dangers to society,” he stated.
He urged the US government to set the pace by protecting whistleblowers, ensuring the protection of human rights and guaranteeing freedom of expression on all platforms.