Campaign against police seizure of notes gathers pace

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A growing campaign is underway to highlight the police intrusion facing freelance journalist Shiv Malik, who this week goes to the High Court to fight police attempts to seize his notes under the Terrorism Act.

A letter in today’s Times, signed by leading journalists and freedom of speech campaigners, urges police to “recognise the widely accepted special status of journalists’ materials and to withdraw their action immediately”.

Among the signatories are Jonathan Dimbleby, The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland, NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear, Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti, Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford, Evening Standard reporter Andrew Gilligan and New Statesman political editor Martin Bright.

As reported in Press Gazette last week, the BBC, Prospect magazine, the Sunday Times and CBS News have all been given orders from Greater Manchester Police, to hand over notes and broadcast footage from interviews with former Jihadist Hassan Butt. Malik is co-writing Butt’s book Leaving al-Qaeda, GMP arrested Butt under the Terrorism Act last Friday and have until Wednesday to charge or release him.

Both the Times and Guardian cover the story today, as did the Manchester Evening News last week.

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