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Press watchdog criticises Indigenous newspaper raid

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 17 November 2004

The international press freedom group Reporters Without Borders has condemned a police raid on the offices of the "National Indigenous Times" newspaper in Canberra.

Federal police raided the paper last Thursday on the orders of the Office of the Prime Minister, after it published a story about proposed Aboriginal welfare reform that was based upon leaked documents.

Reporters Without Borders says it has obtained information suggesting police had a warrant to seize two official documents leaked to the newspaper, but instead took six.

The group also says the raid compromised the paper's ability to protect its sources, and thereby compromised an essential component of investigative journalism.

The group has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Howard expressing concern over the raid and calling for those responsible to be sanctioned.

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