Arrested for their journalism in Northern Ireland | Amnesty International UK

Two renowned journalists from Northern Ireland potentially face prison for exposing police collusion in the ‘Loughinisland Massacre’ of six civilians in 1994.

Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey were arrested in August 2018 and continue to be questioned by the police.

Journalism is not a crime. It is extremely worrying that it’s under threat right here in the UK. Show Trevor and Barry your support by sending them a message of support. You can use our suggested message, or write your own.

Arrested for their journalism in Northern Ireland

The situation

In 1994 a pub in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland was showing a World Cup match between the Republic of Ireland and Italy.

Suddenly, two paramilitaries walked in, spraying the crowd with bullets from an automatic weapon. Six innocent people lost their lives.

It was later discovered that the police colluded in covering up this awful crime by destroying evidence and failing to carry out a proper investigation. To this day, no one has been brought to justice.

No stone unturned

In June 2016 a Police Ombudsman report confirmed police collusion in the Loughinisland murders. At this time Trevor and Barry were working on a film called ‘No Stone Unturned’, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney. It would tell the full story behind the attack and police collusion with the paramilitaries involved.

Exposing the shocking extent of state collusion, the film caused a huge reaction when it premiered at the New York Film Festival in October 2017.

Arrest and questioning

In August 2018, an estimated 100 police officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Durham Constabulary raided the two journalists’ homes and offices. They seized documents, phones and computers. They arrested the men, apparently in connection with breaching the Official Secrets Act, in relation to documents which had been leaked to them.

Six months on, Trevor and Barry continue to face questioning by police in Belfast and potentially could face prison – a huge worry for journalists in Northern Ireland.
We are concerned that the arrest of these journalists, in connection with their work investigating grave human rights abuses within the UK, undermines freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Criminal laws are being increasingly misused around the world to restrict the vital work of journalists. It is extremely worrying that we are now potentially seeing this happen here at home.

Join us and show Trevor and Barry your support. Send them a message today.