Amnesty International said it has the same protection against disclosing sources as do journalists when it reports on human rights abuses, reports the Associated Press. The human rights organization cited a decision by U.S. Magistrate Viktor Pohorelsky, saying he had affirmed its right to protect its confidential sources and investigative research under journalists’ privilege. In his ruling Monday Pohorelsky decided what the New York Times and Amnesty International must tell attorneys for Sept. 11 detainees who sued a federal lockup in Brooklyn. The lawyers claim the government unfairly eavesdropped on their conversations with clients.
Jail officials sought evidence from the Times and Amnesty International to prove that defense lawyers knew about the surveillance more than three years before they sued. They hoped to show the statute of limitations had expired. Wallace Neel, representing Amnesty International, said the decision would set a precedent for human rights groups that must rely on help from victims of abuse.