'Incredibly confronting': Journalist reveals scenes inside AFP raids on ABC offices

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In 2017, ABC obtained documents that showed Australian special forces had killed innocent men and children in Afghanistan.

The raid comes one day after the AFP executed a search on the home of a New Corp journalist Annika Smethurst over a 2018 article reporting new powers for Australian intelligence agencies to spy on citizens. Smethurst's report indicated that it was seeking to expand warrantless surveillance, allowing ASD snooping with ministerial permission rather than a court order.

"First of all let me say that my government is absolutely committed to freedom of the press, secondly these are matters that were being pursued by the AFP operationally at complete arm's length from the government, not in the knowledge of the government, not at the instigation of government ministers", he said after D-Day commemorations in the United Kingdom on Wednesday. As with ABC, Smethurst's reporting was based on leaks of secret documents provided to her from sources likely working with or within Australia's government.

Mr Morrison said he understood the raids have caused anxiety from the press and more broadly, and had spoken with media organisation editors and briefed the opposition about the situation. And, you know, it feels uncomfortable because, and this is a personal comment, it's not the Australia I know, for example. "I think that is a very, very troubling trend".

There were no arrests made in connection to Tuesday's raids.

"It is entirely appropriate they conduct their investigations independently and, in fact, it is their statutory obligation", said Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton in a statement.

The Sunday Telegraph, which is part of Rupert Murdoch's sprawling News Corp. empire, said that the raid on Smethurst's home "demonstrates a unsafe act of intimidation towards those committed to telling uncomfortable truths".

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On Wednesday, federal police showed up at the ABC's Sydney headquarters armed with a warrant naming a news director and the two reporters who broke that story and demanding access to everything from emails to notes and drafts.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was reported as saying he believed in media freedom but that there were also clear rules about the use of classified information.

The two raids come weeks after a new centre-right government was elected.

They said the Sydney raid was "in relation to allegations of publishing classified material, contrary to provisions of the Crimes Act 1914".

ABC's executives promised to fight the government's actions.

Ben revealed he could be facing raids by the Australian Federal Police after he ran a story which revealed confidential Home Affairs information.

This is part of a broader drive by governments around the world to abolish freedom of the press and other fundamental civil liberties.

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