RSF condemns attacks on journalists in Northern Ireland

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns attacks on journalists in Northern Ireland including petrol bombs thrown at reporters covering an Easter parade in Derry, and calls on the police force to ensure that journalists can do their jobs safely and without fear of reprisal. 


One news crew was chased out of the area by men in balaclavas, according to the National Union of Journalists, and a number of petrol bombs were thrown towards journalists reporting on a parade on 1 April in the Creggan area of Derry  – the same area in which journalist Lyra McKee was killed while covering riots in 2019. 


It is deeply worrying to see violence being used again to intimidate journalists in Northern Ireland. We call on the police to investigate swiftly to ensure those responsible are held to account, and to put all necessary measures in place to ensure journalists can do their jobs without fear.

Fiona O'Brien
RSF UK Bureau Director

The attacks on local journalists came one day after what would have been the thirty-fourth birthday of McKee, a talented journalist who was killed by a gunman while reporting in a residential part of Creggan. Nearly five years after her death, no one has been convicted of her murder, despite numerous arrests in relation to the crime. 

Northern Ireland is the most difficult region of the United Kingdom for journalists to operate with those who report on organised crime and paramilitary activities regularly facing intimidation. Monday’s targeting of journalists was part of wider disturbances at the parade in Creggan, organised by a dissident Republican group to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule in Ireland. 

The UK is ranked 26th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2023 World Press Freedom Index


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