12 December 2001

Concern over safety of journalists in Northern Ireland

The murder on 12 December of William Stobie raises concerns over the safety of journalists in Northern Ireland, especially those who have investigated paramilitaries and alleged collusion with the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Mr Stobie was both a self-confessed former quartermaster of the Ulster Defence Association and a police informer, and figured prominently in the contacts book of journalist Martin O'Hagan, murdered on 28 September. The "Red Hand Defenders" claimed responsibility for Mr Stobie's killing.

NUJ National Executive Council member Kevin Cooper said:

The murder of William Stobie raises very serious concerns over the safety of journalists who have investigated paramilitaries and alleged collusion with the Royal Ulster Constabulary. This, added to the murder of journalist Martin O'Hagan in September, along with the fact that two journalists continue to be under threat means we need urgent action. It is important for all communities in Northern Ireland that journalists are free to do their work unhindered by paramilitary or state.

Kevin is asking the NUJ to seek urgent meetings with relevant politicians over the safety of journalists in the North of Ireland.

Not in printed edition

The member most at risk emailed from far, far away to say they weren't that worried, there.

Last modified: 12 December 2001 - © 2001 contributors
The Freelance editor is elected by London Freelance Branch and responsibility for content lies solely with the editor of the time
Send comments to the editor: editor@londonfreelance.org