24 Oct 2019 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 20 Aug 2019 n° 95/2019 Belgium
Draft law Punishing Disclosure of Classified Information Threatens Journalists
The Belgian Minister of Defence and Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders, has tabled a preliminary draft law on classified information which provides for fines of up to 5,000 euros for persons who disclose such information. The information was revealed by the daily newspaper "Le Soir" on 13 August 2019 . The General Association of Professional Journalists of Belgium (AGJPB) wrote to the Minister on 14 August, asking him to add a paragraph to the draft law so that the disclosure of confidential information would not be punished when the author is acting for information purposes and "in order to protect the general public interest". The AGJPB believes that the current version of the law "could threaten the freedom of expression of journalists and whistleblowers".
- Article published by the weekly "Le Vif": "Les journalistes s'inquiètent d'un avant-projet de loi sur les informations classifiées"
- Article published by the RTBF: "5000 euros d'amende et de la prison pour les lanceurs d'alerte: le projet de loi de Didier Reynders"
- Statement by the AGJPB: "Un projet de loi punissant la divulgation d’infos sensibles menace les journalistes"
- Article published by the daily "Le Soir": "Liberté de la presse: une loi pour mettre les taupes à l’amende"
24 Oct 2019
Reply from the Belgian authorities