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To: This statement has already been signed by people across Northern Ireland. Please join us and add your name.

Stop the rise in death threats against Northern Ireland journalists

Stand up for Journalists -

Over the past 12 months we have witnessed with alarm an increase in the number of violent threats against journalists in Northern Ireland.

This month Loyalist paramilitaries have threatened all journalists working at the Sunday Life and Sunday World newspapers in Belfast. This follows recent threats against a journalist working for The Irish News.

Attempts to intimidate journalists have come from dissident Republican and Loyalist paramilitary groups and are intended to prevent the media from investigating their activities and exposing criminality.

Threats against journalists and media organisations have no place in our society. It is vital that such behaviour is not tolerated. No worker should be exposed to threats for doing their job.

At a time when the media is playing such an important role in covering the terrible Covid-19 pandemic the recent, blanket threat is especially worrying.

Elected politicians who criticised the threats have now become the subject of intimidation from groups without any mandate.

Attempts have been made to silence public representatives for defending the right to freedom of expression.

Public support has sustained journalists during the dark days of the past.

Today we assert the right of our communities to be informed by journalists operating without fear or intimidation.

It is the function of the media to ask difficult questions, to speak truth to power, to expose corruption, to shine a light into dark corners.

Journalists in Northern Ireland will continue to do so.

Why is this important?

The NUJ believes a free, independent media is a cornerstone of democracy.

No group can be allowed to undermine the freedom of the press. Every effort must be made to ensure that those who are guilty of intimidation are brought to justice.

We call for the immediate withdrawal of all threats against journalists in Northern Ireland and for the freedom of the press to be respected and protected.


2020-05-27 16:47:40 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2020-05-23 09:31:57 +0100

Since the Stand up for Journalism initiative was launched, it has been endorsed by more supporters including - Dominique Pradalié, general secretary of the French journalists' union SNJ and Ricardo Gutierrez, general secretary of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ); the largest public service union in Ireland, FORSA, and the Journalists' Union of Athens Daily Newspaper (JUADN); Jo Stevens, Labour's shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport; and Chris Matheson, Labour's shadow minister for digital, culture, media and sport; Rob Butler, Conservative MP for Aylesbury and Lord Hay of Ballyore, Democratic Unionist Party life peer. Rebecca Vincent, UK bureau director of Reporters Without Borders and Ian Marshall, former president of the Ulster Farmer’s Union.

More details on the NUJ website:

2020-05-22 10:11:42 +0100

Irish Examiner editorial: "We salute a courageous and worthy initiative that asserts the right of journalists to work without threats, intimidation or harassment. Threats against journalists should not be tolerated in any free society."

2020-05-20 21:39:01 +0100

500 signatures reached

2020-05-20 15:56:08 +0100

Further pledges of support for the statement (full list below) -
Rob Butler: Conservative MP for Aylesbury
Rosemary Barton: Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Ulster Unionist Party
Lord Hay of Ballyore: Democratic Unionist Party Life peer

2020-05-20 11:43:01 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-05-20 10:20:53 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-05-20 09:54:10 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-05-20 09:34:57 +0100

10 signatures reached

2020-05-20 09:17:22 +0100

List of supporters -

2020-05-20 09:17:10 +0100

Martin Breen: Editor, Sunday Life
Eoin Brannigan: incoming Editor in Chief, Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life
Brian Farrell: Editor, Sunday World
Noel Doran: Editor, Irish News
Alistair Bushe: Editor, News Letter
Anthony Neeson: Editor, Andersonstown News
Mark Conway: Editor, The Impartial Reporter

2020-05-20 09:17:03 +0100

Peter Vandermeersch, Publisher, Independent News and Media, and Belfast Telegraph
Edward McCann: Deputy Publisher, Independent News and Media
Sarah Little: Publishing Director, Independent News and Media

2020-05-20 09:16:55 +0100

Michelle Stanistreet: General Secretary
Seamus Dooley: Assistant General Secretary
Sian Jones: NUJ President
Bernie Mullen: Irish Executive Council
Bimpe Archer: Irish Executive Council
Gerry Carson: Irish Executive Council
Kathryn Johnson: Irish Executive Council
Anton McCabe: National Executive Council
Ciarán O Maoláin: National Executive Council

2020-05-20 09:16:47 +0100

WAN: IFRA (World Association of News Publishers)
World Editors Forum
Anthony Bellanger: General Secretary, International Federation of Journalists
Younes M’Jahed: President, International Federation of Journalists
Ian Murray: Executive Director, UK Society of Editors

2020-05-20 09:16:39 +0100

Arlene Foster: Fermanagh and South Tyrone, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and First Minister of Northern Ireland
Michelle O'Neill: Mid Ulster, Sinn FĂ©in, Deputy First Minister
Alex Maskey: Speaker, NI Assembly

2020-05-20 09:16:31 +0100

Andrew Muir: North Down, Alliance Party
Andy Allen: East Belfast, Ulster Unionist Party
Caoimhe Archibald: East Derry, Sinn FĂ©in
Carál Ní Chuilín: North Belfast, Sinn Féin
Cathal Boylan: Newry and Armagh, Sinn FĂ©in
Catherine Kelly: West Tyrone, Sinn FĂ©in
Chris Lyttle: East Belfast, Alliance Party
Colin McGrath: South Down, Social Democratic and Labour Party
Colm Gildernew: Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Sinn FĂ©in
Conor Murphy: Newry and Armagh, Sinn FĂ©in
David Hilditch: East Antrim, Democratic Unionist Party
Declan McAleer: West Tyrone, Sinn FĂ©in
Declan Kearney: South Antrim, Sinn FĂ©in
Deirdre Hargey: South Belfast, Sinn FĂ©in
Diane Dodds: Upper Bann, Democratic Unionist Party
Doug Beattie: Upper Bann, Ulster Unionist Party
Emma Rogan: South Down, Sinn FĂ©in
Emma Sheerin: Mid Ulster, Sinn FĂ©in
Fra McCann: West Belfast, Sinn FĂ©in
Gary Middleton: Foyle, Democratic Unionist Party
Gerry Carroll: West Belfast, People Before Profit

2020-05-20 09:16:21 +0100

Gerry Kelly: North Belfast, Sinn FĂ©in
Gordon Lyons: East Antrim, Democratic Unionist Party
Jemma Dolan: Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Sinn FĂ©in
Joanne Bunting: East Belfast, Democratic Unionist Party
John Blair: South Antrim, Alliance Party
John O'Dowd: Upper Bann, Sinn FĂ©in
Karen Mullan: Foyle, Sinn FĂ©in
Keith Buchanan: Mid Ulster, Democratic Unionist Party
Kellie Armstrong: Strangford, Alliance Party
Linda Dillon: Mid Ulster, Sinn FĂ©in
Liz Kimmins: Newry and Armagh, Sinn FĂ©in
MaolĂ­osa McHugh: West Tyrone, Sinn FĂ©in
Mark H Durkan: Foyle, Social Democratic and Labour Party
Martina Anderson: Foyle, Sinn FĂ©in
Maurice Bradley: East Londonderry, Democratic Unionist Party
Mike Nesbitt: Strangford, Ulster Unionist Party
Naomi Long: East Belfast and leader of the Alliance Party

2020-05-20 09:16:11 +0100

Ă“rlaithĂ­ Flynn: West Belfast, Sinn FĂ©in
Pam Cameron: South Antrim, Democratic Unionist Party
Pat Sheehan: West Belfast, Sinn FĂ©in
Paul Frew: North Antrim, Democratic Unionist Party
Paula Bradley: North Belfast, Democratic Unionist Party
Paula Bradshaw: South Belfast, Alliance Party
Peter Weir: Strangford, Democratic Unionist Party
Philip McGuigan: North Antrim, Sinn FĂ©in
Robbie Butler: Lagan Valley, Ulster Unionist Party
Roy Beggs: East Antrim, Ulster Unionist Party
Sean Lynch: Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Sinn FĂ©in
Sinéad Ennis: South Down, Sinn Féin
Steve Aiken: South Antrim, and leader of the Ulster Unionist Party
Stewart Dickson: East Antrim, Alliance Party
William Humphrey: North Belfast, Democratic Unionist Party
William Irwin: Newry and Armagh, Democratic Unionist Party

2020-05-20 09:15:18 +0100

Oliver Dowden: Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Brandon Lewis: Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Louise Haigh: Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Chris Hazzard: South Down, Sinn FĂ©in
Claire Hanna: Belfast South, Social Democratic and Labour Party
Colum Eastwood: Foyle, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party
Francie Molloy: Mid Ulster, Sinn FĂ©in
Jeffrey Donaldson: Lagan Valley, parliamentary leader of Democratic Unionist Part
John Finucane: Belfast North, Sinn FĂ©in
Michelle Gildernew: Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Sinn FĂ©in
Micky Brady: Newry and Armagh, Sinn FĂ©in
Ă“rfhlaith Begley: West Tyrone, Sinn FĂ©in
Paul Maskey: Belfast West, Sinn FĂ©in
Stephen Farry: North Down, Alliance Party

2020-05-20 09:15:10 +0100

Baroness Margaret Ritchie of Downpatrick: Non-affiliated
Baroness May Blood: Retired
Baron Empey: Ulster Unionist Party
Baron Kilclooney: Non-affiliated
Baron Rogan: Ulster Unionist Party

2020-05-20 09:15:02 +0100

Senator Niall Ă“ Donnaghaile, Sinn FĂ©in
Senator Elisha McCallion, Sinn FĂ©in

2020-05-20 09:14:09 +0100

North Down and Ards Council of Trade Unions
Belfast and District Trades Union Council
Ballymena and Antrim Trades Union Council
Craigavon Trades Union Council
Derry Trades Union Council
Fermanagh Trades Council
Omagh and District Trades Union Council
Mid Ulster Trade Union Council

2020-05-20 09:14:02 +0100

Patricia King: General Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Owen Reidy: Assistant General Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Gerry Murphy: President, ICTU, Northern Ireland Secretary, INTO
Frances O’Grady: Trade Union Congress
Sharan Burrow: General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
Esther Lynch: Deputy General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation

2020-05-20 09:13:54 +0100

Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union
Communications Workers Union
Financial Services Union
Fire Brigades Union
Prison Officers Association
Royal College of Midwives
Ulster Teachers Union
UNISON, Northern Ireland

2020-05-20 09:13:42 +0100

Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Institute of Directors, Northern Ireland
Manufacturing Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action

2020-05-20 09:13:33 +0100

Brian Gormally: Director, Committee on the Administration of Justice
Les Allamby: Chief Commissioner, Human Rights Commission Northern Ireland
Patrick Corrigan: Northern Ireland Programme Director, Amnesty International

2020-05-20 09:13:24 +0100

Belfast Jewish Community Council
Rev Chris Hudson: Moderator of the non-subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland
Rev Harold Good
Fr Martin Magill PP: St John's Parish, Belfast
Archbishop Eamon Martin
Dr Wasif Naeem: Chair, Belfast Islamic Centre
Rev Dr William Henry: Moderator of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church in Ireland

2020-05-20 09:13:14 +0100

Adam Patterson: Screenwriter
Clare Allen: Author and journalist
Declan Lawn: Screenwriter
Cllr Eamon McCann: Journalist
Felicity McCall: Author and journalist
J. B. Vallely: Artist and musician
Julieann Campbell: Author and journalist
Nichola McKee Corner
Sara Canning
Trevor Ringland MBE