Call for lifting of death threat to Belfast journalist

Threat from ‘criminal elements’ reported to a meeting of National Union of Journalists

The threat, understood to be from “criminal elements”, was reported to a meeting of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) on Friday.

The threat, understood to be from “criminal elements”, was reported to a meeting of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) on Friday.

 

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is calling for the immediate lifting of a death threat to a Belfast-based reporter.

The threat, understood to be from “criminal elements”, was reported to a meeting of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) on Friday.

The NUJ condemned the threat and described it as “a worrying development” that has caused grave concern to the family, colleagues, friends and employer of the member concerned.

The union’s senior officials met on Friday in London and discussed the “threat to life notice” from the PSNI.

The notice informed the journalist that there was an “immediate risk of an attack by criminal elements”.

An NEC statement said it “vehemently condemns the threat made against our member and resolves the union will support them in whatever way it can”.

“Journalists have the right to work without threats being made against them or being physically harmed,” a spokesperson said.

“The jobs they do are pivotal to a democratic society and its citizens’ right to be informed about what is happening in their communities.”

The NEC “demands that those behind this threat lift it immediately and do so in a manner that is unequivocal and unconditional.”

It is understood the threat is not paramilitary related as has been the case on many occasions with other death threats to journalists working in the North in the past.

Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Programme Director, Patrick Corrigan also called for the threat to be lifted immediately.

“Such threats are not merely an attack on one journalist, they are an attack on the freedom of the press in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“All over the world, journalists are arrested, threatened and killed for working in the frontline of defending freedom of expression.

“Guaranteeing freedom of expression must be a cornerstone of Northern Ireland as a peaceful and just society.”