TWO JOURNALISTS IN Northern Ireland have received death threats from loyalists paramilitaries.
Politicians have been urged to speak out against those responsible for the threat against the reporters, who have not been identified, and the National Union of Journalists has called for the threats to be withdrawn immediately.
“Threats such as these cannot be tolerated,” said Barry McCall, the president of the NUJ said. “Journalists in Northern Ireland have a proud record of refusing to be intimidated by such threats but they should not be subject to them in the first place.”
Michelle Stanistreet of the NUJ said that anyone making threats against journalists for carrying out their work “attempts to undermine democracy as well as press freedom”.
“Threats against journalists from any quarter must stop,” she said.
The union said those responsible for issuing the threats should withdraw them immediately, and called on public representatives representing the groups to issue a statement to that effect.
There have been a number of threats to journalists in Northern Ireland over the past year. In January, the PSNI intercepted a letter containing a bullet addressed to a Belfast-based journalist who had been reporting on loyalist rioting in the wake of the Union flags protests.
Separately, the UDA denied it had been involved in death threats sent to a journalist in Belfast last year after the reporter was named in graffiti along with his mobile phone number in a number of locations which, the NUJ said, was designed to intimidate.