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Northern Ireland: Threat against journalist at Belfast newspaper condemned

Amnesty International has condemned a threat made against a journalist at a Belfast newspaper, reportedly made by the South East Antrim Ulster Defence Association, and called for the threat to be lifted immediately.

The Belfast Telegraph has reported today that the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is taking seriously a threat by the group against a journalist at the newspaper.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Programme Director, said:

“Amnesty International condemns this latest reported threat against a journalist at the Belfast Telegraph and calls for the threat to be lifted immediately. 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 journalist concerned.

“We have seen a sustained pattern of despicable threats against journalists from both loyalist and republican paramilitaries in recent years. For too long, such groups have been able to make such threats against the media in Northern Ireland with apparent impunity. That must end. We look to the authorities to hold those responsible to account.”

Last month, Sunday World journalist Patricia Devlin lodged a complaint with the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland in relation to lack of an effective investigation by the PSNI into a threat to rape her new-born son.

Sunday World journalist Martin O’Hagan was shot dead in Northern Ireland in September 2001 by a loyalist paramilitary group. No-one has ever been convicted of his murder.

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