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NUJ condemns violent threat to Belfast journalist

8 April 2020

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland has vehemently condemned a threat by dissident republicans to carry out a violent attack on a Belfast-based journalist working for the Irish News.

The journalist received confirmation of the threat from the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The union has called for the threat to be lifted immediately.

Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, said:

"Vicious threats against journalists, by any group, at any time, are disgraceful. It is shocking this threat has been made at a time when the NHS staff are trying to save lives and help the vulnerable in our society.

"While the coronavirus is causing immense physical, mental and financial suffering; those behind this despicable threat have issued it in the hope of silencing a specific journalist and journalism in general.

"Let the message be loud and clear to them - all NUJ members condemn this threat and the union will continue to offer the journalist affected our full support and assistance.

"The NUJ demands that those issuing this threat lift it immediately.”

The union will not be making any further comment at this time.

The International Federation of Journalists has also strongly condemned the threat.

In a statement IFJ general secretary Anthony Bellanger said:

"We support the NUJ call for the immediate and unconditional lifting of this threat. Journalists must be free to operate without fear of threat or any form of intimidation. The Police Service of Northern Ireland has confirmed that this threat is being taken seriously and we wish to express our solidarity with the member, her union and her Irish News colleagues at this time. This is an unacceptable attempt to silence journalists for doing their job. It has not worked in the past and will not succeed on this occasion."

Tags: , journalist safety, journalists intimidated, journalists safety, northern ireland, belfast, irish news, newspapers, health and safety, media freedom