NUJ says Loyalist paramilitary group has issued death threat against Belfast journalist

Belfast-based journalist has been issued with a death threat by Loyalist paramilitary group the UDA, according to the National Union of Journalists.

The journalist was not named, but the union’s Irish secretary Seamus Dooley said the Police Service of Northern Ireland was taking the threat seriously.

In a statement the NUJ said:

The NUJ has appealed to politicians and others who may have influence with the UDA to have the threat withdrawn.

The name of the NUJ member is not being releases at this time.

Seamus Dooley added:

This represents the latest threat to this journalist and is part of a sinister campaign which must be condemned. A free press is the cornerstone of a democratic society and peace cannot be said to exist when journalists are faced with death threats.

UPDATE

According to the Press Association,Loyalists have denied making a death threat against the journalist.

A spokesman for the Ulster Political Research Group in west Belfast, which advises the paramilitary organisation, was quoted saying:

We consider anybody getting threatened to be absolutely not right and we are totally against any threats against any journalist.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt, a former television journalist, said the threat was “totally unacceptable and must be condemned unequivocally”, adding:

A free press is the cornerstone of any democracy and any threat to a journalist is totally unacceptable and must be condemned unequivocally.

No one is above public scrutiny and when anyone believes that media reporting becomes inaccurate, misleading or distorted, there are mechanisms in place to seek redress. Threatening murder offers no vision for the future.

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