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“Tuesday was a dark day in Australian history,” Mr Wilkie said. “David McBride was imprisoned for at least more than two years for providing documents to the ABC which revealed alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. It’s simply unconscionable that the first Australian to face court and go to jail in connection with these allegations is the whistleblower that revealed them. This is no reflection on the court which was, after all, simply applying the law. It should never have come to this because Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus could have exercised his authority to intervene in the process, as I and others implored him to do repeatedly, and have the charges against Mr McBride dropped.

“Whistleblowers make Australia a better place. But the Government is failing to provide adequate support and protections, and is instead hell-bent on punishing anyone who speaks up and deterring those who might. I also hold grave concerns about the ongoing prosecution of Richard Boyle, who exposed wrongdoing at the Australian Taxation Office and is being prosecuted for blowing the whistle internally. What’s to stop the Government from hanging him out to dry like they did with Mr McBride?

“Thirty Senators and Members have written to the Prime Minister and Attorney-General to call on the Federal Government to advise the Governor-General to grant a full pardon to David McBride, discontinue the prosecution of Richard Boyle, commit to urgently overhauling whistleblowing and secrecy laws before the end of this Parliamentary term, and commit to establishing a whistleblower protection commission.

“The Government must end the war against whistleblowers and ensure whistleblowers in Australia are protected, not punished, prosecuted or imprisoned.”

A copy of the letter to the Prime Minister and Attorney-General is below.