The Right Livelihood Foundation welcomes German court decision curbing foreign spying

News 19.05.2020

The Right Livelihood Foundation welcomes a decision handed down by Germany’s highest court on Tuesday curbing the powers of the country’s foreign intelligence service to monitor online communications abroad, especially when it comes to journalists.

2017 Right Livelihood Award Laureate Khadija Ismayilova, an Azerbaijani investigative journalist, was involved in the joint effort by several non-governmental organisations to strike down a regulation allowing the German foreign intelligence service to collect and monitor communications of individuals abroad.

Revelations of a global mass surveillance system by 2014 Laureate Edward Snowden were also instrumental to civil society seeking to hold German authorities accountable.

Commenting from Azerbaijan on the landmark decision, Ismayilova said:

“Societies need to keep governments accountable and limit their ability to interfere with the privacy of citizens. I suffered a lot in Azerbaijan from the unlimited power of the government and their abuse of anti-terror legislation, which also allowed them to interfere with my privacy and expose my intimate life. I am happy that democratic checks and balances are still operational in Germany and it was possible to revert the abusive laws which could be used as instruments against whistleblowers and journalists. Many thanks to Reporters Without Borders that helped me to be part of this lawsuit and experience democracy. I hope one day we will have the same opportunity in Azerbaijan.”

Ismayilova received the Right Livelihood Award “for her courage and tenacity in exposing corruption at the highest levels of government through outstanding investigative journalism in the name of transparency and accountability.”

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