McGuinness demands death threat against Irish News journalist is withdrawn
NORTHERN Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has added his condemnation to death threats made against an Irish News reporter.
Mr McGuinness took to Twitter to describe the threat as "reprehensible" and demanded its immediate withdrawal.
The reprehensible threat issued against an @irish_news journalist must be immediately withdrawn.It is both cowardly & unacceptable.— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) September 14, 2015
@irish_news whoever is threatening a journalist should wise up and seek help. We are a democracy— Mike Nesbitt (@mikenesbittni) September 14, 2015
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) earlier described the threat as "sinister".
The threat was received on Friday and is connected to an ongoing murder investigation.
"The death threat issued against an Irish News journalist is a sinister development," Seamus Dooley, Irish Secretary of the NUJ said.
"There is a need for independent, fearless journalism in Northern Ireland and in the current climate we regard the death threat as especially worrying.
"Journalists must be allowed to work in the public interest without intimidation. There is an obligation on those in positions of influence to work to ensure that reporters, photographers and editors are able to operate without risk or threat from any quarter,"
And he added: "Such threats have no place in a democratic society and should be condemned by all public representatives.
"Journalists in Northern Ireland will not be deterred by such threats. The Irish News has faced down bullies before. Our members will never give in to those who seek to deny the right to freedom of expression to those who expose inconvenient truths."
Irish News editor Noel Doran said: "We are taking this development very seriously and the police are fully aware of our concerns. A threat against a highly respected colleague is deplorable and all attempts to undermine press freedom must be firmly resisted whenever and wherever they emerge."