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World Journalist federation slams paramilitary threats to N.Irish reporters

19:45  01 december  2020
19:45  01 december  2020 Source:   msn.com

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One reporter was contacted in the middle of the night by police after they became aware of a threat of attack by loyalist paramilitaries linked to the West The NUJ condemned the threats made against the two Sunday World journalists and said that the protection of journalists and the active pursuit of

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

The International Federation of Journalists on Tuesday condemned paramilitary death threats against two Northern Irish reporters, highlighting dangers to the press in the province where a correspondent was slain last year.

a person standing in front of a sign: Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead last year covering a riot © PAUL FAITH Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead last year covering a riot

Two journalists working for the Sunday World newspaper were contacted by police last weekend over "imminent threats" of attack from loyalist paramilitaries including the West Belfast Ulster Defence Association, the IFJ said in a statement.

One journalist was alerted by police in the middle of the night while another has been issued with a "shoot to kill threat and is also at risk of entrapment and attack," the Brussels-based industry organisation said.

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Since the early 1970s, extrajudicial punishment attacks have been carried out by Ulster loyalist and Irish republican paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. Attacks can range from a warning or expulsion from Northern Ireland, backed up by the threat of violence

"Such threats are a disgusting attempt to intimidate journalists from doing their jobs, and constitute an attack on freedom of the press in Northern Ireland. We send our solidarity to the journalists concerned," said Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International's Northern Ireland programme director.

"We condemn these attacks which seek to suppress independent reporting in a democracy," said IFJ general secretary Anthony Bellanger.

"Those responsible for these threats must be identified and held to account in the interest of press freedom."

Northern Ireland was the site of "The Troubles", a 30 year-long sectarian conflict between loyalist and republican paramilitaries, and British security forces.


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Some 3,500 were killed in violence over British rule of the province.

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement saw most paramilitaries lay down their arms, however smaller dissident groups remain active and have integrated into organised crime.

In April 2019, journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead by one such group during a riot in the Northern Irish border city of Londonderry, which is known to republicans as Derry.

Dissident republican paramilitary the New IRA took responsibility for the killing, but said it had been accidental.

Fears have been expressed that Britain's departure from the European Union will fuel paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland if Brexit results in a "hard" border with EU member Ireland.

Customs checks and military bases at the frontier were a frequent target during the Troubles.

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This is interesting!