Charges of treason filed by Germany's chief prosecutor against journalists of a political blog are an embarrassment to the nation's history of a free and unfettered press and is attracting scorn from around the world.
The Justice Minister still has some explaining to do after firing his top prosecutor.
It has come this far. The disastrous investigation of journalists with the Internet blog Netzpolitik, who were accused of treason by Germany's top prosecutor, has grabbed the world's attention.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, jumped into the fray by demanding an end to the investigations of blog's operators. The organization, which includes representatives from 57 participating countries, told German officials the threat of treason may have a "clearly deterrent effect" on investigative journalists.
The complaints come from the OSCE representative for press freedom, Dunja Mijatovic, who wrote a tartly worded letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier. She noted that her organization was established in 1997 by a German initiative recognizing the special meaning of freedom and expression of opinion and the role of a free and pluralistic media be recognized.
It was the German, Freimut Duve, who was the OSCE's first representative for press freedom, and the former German foreign and interior minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, later served as one of the organization's chairmen.
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