Media groups protest at journalists' arrests

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and World Editors Forum (WEF) have lodged an official protest with Tony Blair over the arrest of two journalists in the North for publishing transcripts of bugged telephone calls.

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and World Editors Forum (WEF) have lodged an official protest with Tony Blair over the arrest of two journalists in the North for publishing transcripts of bugged telephone calls.

Sunday Times Ireland editor Liam Clarke and his wife, Kathryn Johnston, were arrested after an armed PSNI raid on their home on April 30.

The couple were co-authors of a biography of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness which contained transcripts of telephone conversations he had with British officials and others.

The telephone calls were bugged by the British intelligence services.

The WAN and the WEF said the arrests were politically motivated and designed to punish the journalists for embarrassing the British government.

The press organisations described the arrests as an attack on press freedom and said the publication of the transcripts did not pose any threat to British national security.

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