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Loyalists issue threats against Sunday Life and Sunday World journalists

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Threats have been issued against Sunday Life and Sunday World journalists

Threats have been issued against Sunday Life and Sunday World journalists

Threats have been issued against Sunday Life and Sunday World journalists

Loyalist terrorists in Northern Ireland have issued threats against journalists working for the Sunday Life and Sunday World newspapers.

A number of reporters were visited by police officers in the early hours of Friday morning with warnings of imminent attacks.

At least one journalist was told of a planned under-car booby trap attack while staff at the two Sunday titles - both owned by Independent News and Media (INM) - were warned they are at risk of immediate attack.

The development comes just weeks after the first anniversary of the New IRA murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry.

The PSNI is taking the threat seriously and officers have been in contact with the journalists concerned.

It is understood the threats emanate from the breakaway South East Antrim UDA.

Police have confirmed they are “in receipt” of information that indicates a planned and co-ordinated campaign of intimidation.

Peter Vandermeersch, Publisher at INM, said: “We will, of course, work with the police to ensure our staff’s safety. Threats against journalists should not be tolerated in any free society.

"Today marks the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany and an important element in that victory was ensuring freedom of speech for subsequent generations.

"It is depressing that thugs still believe they can silence the press through intimidation. The Sunday World and Sunday Life will continue to publish stories that shed light in dark corners.”

Seamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, expressed grave concern at what he described as another attempt to intimidate and silence journalists in Northern Ireland.

He said: "This threat is being taken seriously by the PSNI, by the company and by the staff.

"This is an extremely worrying development and will be viewed with great concern by all journalists in Northern Ireland.

"Free press is a corner stone of democracy and it is essential that journalists are allowed to work without fear or intimidation.

"The threat comes in the week in which we celebrate World Press Freedom day and it is a stark reminder of the intimidation that workers throughout the world face from those who fear the consequences of journalism."

Alliance Party councillor Emmett McDonough-Brown also condemned the threat.

"On the day that a fascist regime was defeated 75 years ago, journalists are being threatened by loyalists. It’s disgraceful and I’m sending solidarity to those who cast light into the dark places in our society," the Belfast councillor said.

Belfast Telegraph