NUJ urges Hain to review protection application

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The NUJ has called on Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain to reconsider a decision not to grant protection to a Sunday World journalist who has received a death threat from the Ulster Volunteer Force.

In a letter, general secretary Jeremy Dear said: "The refusal of the application and the reasons given represent a significant change in policy towards the protection of journalists at risk in Northern Ireland. I am also disappointed that it has taken two months to consider the application.

"The Police Service of Northern Ireland advised the member concerned that there is a substantial threat to his life, and the company has taken appropriate measures to improve personal security."

In rejecting the application, Paul Goggins MP, Minister of State with responsibility for Security, claimed that the scheme is aimed at "those in the public service concerned with the effective administration of Government and the criminal justice system, upholding law and order and maintaining the democratic framework." Five years ago, Sunday World reporter Martin O'Hagan was shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries.

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