NUJ statement in support of Sima Kotecha

  • 16 Apr 2021

The BBC reporter was subjected to abuse while preparing for a live broadcast; a man has since pleaded guilty. 

Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said:

“BBC reporter Sima Kotecha should not have had to put up with the harassment and abuse she received and it is right that Russell Rawlingson has been dealt with by the courts. All such behaviour against journalists who are just doing their job should be reported to the police.  The NUJ’s work with the government's National Committee for the Safety and Protection of Journalists has resulted in an action plan to protect journalists and we will be seeing that it is put in place. Democracy needs an unfettered press, free from violence and abuse.” 

Russell Rawlingson, from Leicester, was originally charged with causing racially-aggravated harassment, alarm or distress, as  Sima believed his behaviour was "racist and abusive". However, he pleaded guilty to a lesser non-racially aggravated version of the offence. He is due to be sentenced on  Tuesday 11 May.  Man admits harassing BBC reporter Sima Kotecha

NUJ welcomes the launch of a national action plan to protect journalists

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