The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights stresses the
importance of whistle-blowing for promoting good governance, privacy,
freedom of speech and the fight against corruption, including in
the fields of national security and intelligence.
It welcomes the adoption, by the Committee of Ministers, of
Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)7 calling on member States to create
an appropriate normative, judicial and institutional framework for
the protection of whistle-blowers.
In view of the disclosures concerning mass surveillance and
intrusions of privacy carried out by the United States National
Security Agency and other intelligence agencies, which affect communications
of numerous persons who are not suspected of any wrongdoing, the
committee considers that whistle-blower protection measures should
cover all individuals who denounce wrongdoings which place fellow
human beings at risk of violations of their rights protected under
the European Convention on Human Rights, including persons working
for national security or intelligence agencies.
Given the importance of whistle-blowing to ensure that legal
limits placed on mass surveillance are respected and the international
ramifications of whistle-blowing in the field of national security
or intelligence, whistle-blowers (including employees of relevant
government agencies or private contractors), whose disclosures are otherwise
in line with Resolution
1729 (2010), Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)7
or the Tshwane Principles as supported by Resolution 1954 (2013), should be granted asylum in a member State of the Council
of Europe when they are persecuted in their home country.