Reuters reports: Germany’s president, who helped expose the workings of East Germany’s dreaded Stasi secret police, said whistleblowers like U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden deserved respect for defending freedom.
Weighing in on a debate that could influence September’s federal election, President Joachim Gauck struck a very different tone from that of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has assured Washington that Berlin would not shelter Snowden.
Gauck, who has little power but great moral authority, said people who work for the state were entitled to act according to their conscience, as institutions sometimes depart from the law.
“This will normally only be put right if information is made public. Whoever draws the public’s attention to it and acts out of conscience deserves respect,” he told Friday’s Passauer Neue Presse newspaper.