Dear Prime Minister Cameron,
We know that you will agree that one of the hallmarks of free and open
democracies is a vivid public debate addressing all fundamental aspects of
society, including the balance and possible conflict between the legitimate
security concerns of governments and the protection of privacy and the free
We all understand both the imperative to uphold domestic security and the
equally important imperative to protect our open public debate about the
limits to and legal implications of these efforts.
The debate is not a sign of weakness of our democracies. It is the basis of
On this backdrop, events in Great Britain over the past week gives rise to
We may differ on where to draw the lines and strike the right balance, but we
should not differ in our determination to protect an open debate about these
Also we should stand united to protect individuals engaging in such debates
within the parameters of democracy and the rule of law.
The free press plays a crucial role in this regard, also in situations where
information revealed by the press is most inconvenient to governments and
the intelligence community.
We are surprised by the recent acts by officials of your government against
our colleagues at The Guardian and deeply concerned that a stout defender of
democracy and free debate like The United Kingdom refers anti terror
legislation in order to legalize what amounts to harassment of both the
paper and individuals associated with it.
Moreover, it is deeply disturbing that the police have now announced a
We hope this is not to be seen as a step against journalists doing journalism.
The implication of these acts may have ramifications far beyond the boarders
of the UK, undermining the position of the free press throughout the world.
Mr. Prime Minister, we hope that you will soon act to rectify this and
reinstall your government among the leading defenders of the free press and
an open debate in accordance with the proud tradition of your country.
For Politiken, Denmark :
Bo Lidegaard, Executive Editor-in-Chief
For Dagens Nyheter, Sweden:
Peter Wolodarski, Executive Editor-in-Chief
For Aftenposten, Norway:
Hilde Haugsgjerd, Executive Editor-in-Chief
For Helsingin Sanomat , Finland
Riikka Venäläinen, Editor-in-chief