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Northern Ireland journalist receives death threat

(IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, Aug 20, 2012 - A Belfast-based journalist received a death threat over the telephone on Saturday, reportedly from a terror unit of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), a paramilitary group. The name of the journalist is not being revealed in line with a policy of the UK National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to protect individuals under threat.

According to the British daily The Guardian, loyalist sources said that a specific UDA group in the east of the city, which was recently accused of criminality and drug dealing, was responsible for threats against the reporter. NUJ condemned the threat, which the group said was not the first issued against the journalist, and called on UDA to have it withdrawn.

On Monday, the UDA issued a statement saying it "categorically denied any threats inferred or otherwise directed towards a journalist", and that the group "respected the freedom of the press and the right of all journalists to carry out and pursue their profession free from intimidation or threat", BBC News, Northern Ireland, reported on its website.

IPI Deputy Director Anthony Mills said: "The International Press Institute (IPI) strongly condemns any death threats issued against journalists. This type of intimidation has a grave chilling effect on journalism. We urge the authorities to thoroughly investigate these threats and take all necessary measures to ensure that the journalist's life is not endangered."

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