Sunday 25 February 2018

Death threat issued to journalist

Lesley-Anne McKeown

A DEATH threat has been issued to a female journalist in Northern Ireland, a union claimed today.

Dissident republicans, who were responsible for the murders of two soldiers, a police officer and a prison guard, are believed to be behind the intimidation.

A spokesperson for the National Union of Journalists Belfast branch has called for politicians and community leaders to use their influence to have the threat withdrawn.

"We are concerned with the growing number of threats being made by paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland against journalists who are carrying out their work.

"We call on those responsible for the latest threat to lift it and to publicly say so," he said.

It is understood the PSNI relayed information to the reporter that her life was in danger.

The identity of the journalist, who works in print media, is not being revealed.

A police spokeswoman said they could not comment on the security of individuals.

"We do not discuss the security of any individual. However, if we receive information that a person's life may be at risk we will inform the relevant persons accordingly. We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk. No inference should be drawn from this," she said.

There has been a history of violence and intimidation against journalists in Northern Ireland.

In January, during the violent loyalist protests over the Union flag dispute at Belfast City Hall police intercepted a letter containing a bullet that was addressed to a reporter.

Last August, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was blamed for issuing a death threat against another Belfast journalist whose name was daubed in graffiti on a wall.

In 2001 Sunday World reporter Martin O'Hagan was shot dead by the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) a splinter group of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in Lurgan.

Press Association

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