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Artists and academics lend support to arrested journalists

Stephen Rea has pledged support for the arrested journalists.

A GROUP of artists, academics and film makers have voiced support for journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey following their arrests yesterday by Durham police.

Among those who have lent support the award-winning reporters, are Oscar nominated actor Stephen Rea, Irish Film Award winning actor John Connors and director of the Belfast Film Festival Michelle Devlin.

Filmakers Sean Murray, Alex Gibney, Callum Macrea and Ken Fero are also among the signitories along with QUB professors Phil Scraton and Cahal McLaughlin and director of the Rome Irish Film Festival Dr Suzanna Pellis.

More than 100 people from the worlds of arts and academia have released a statement to convey their shock at the arrests.

"At a time when truth telling is vitally important to the overall process of conflict transformation, the right to investigate all alleged abuses, including those by the state, should not be curtailed and must be given the freedom under any normal democratic society.

"The work of filmmakers and journalists has increasingly sought to address issues around the legacy of the past where many victims and survivors have been failed by the government.

"We demand their immediate release".

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