NUJ condemns 'upward trend' in attacks on journalists in Belfast as French photographer assaulted

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The unnamed photographer was assaulted and had his camera stolen as violence broke out following the Northern Ireland Parliament’s decision to ban a Protestant march through a Republican area of Belfast.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet raised concerns about the growing number of attacks on journalists in the country and called on politicians to do more to protect the press.

She said: “There is absolutely no excuse for last night’s attack on a photographer in Belfast and it should be unequivocally condemned. An attack on a journalist is an attack on press freedom and an attack on someone who was trying to do their job.

“Unfortunately, there has been an upward trend in such attacks in Belfast and elsewhere in Northern Ireland over the past year and it is disturbing that yet another journalist has been attacked. Insult was added to injury because the attackers stole the photographer’s camera – stopping his chance to continue to work.

“The NUJ is calling on community leaders, politicians and all those with influence, to help stop these attacks on journalists. We also want the perpetrators to return the camera immediately.”

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