Friday 20 August 2010

NUJ alarm at police seizure of journalist's mobile

The NUJ has expressed alarm at the actions of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in confiscating a mobile phone belonging to Derry-based freelance journalist Eamonn MacDermott.
Irish Secretary Séamus Dooley said the decision to confiscate the phone represents a threat to the confidentiality of journalistic sources and was viewed with concern by journalists throughout Ireland and the UK.
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear condemned the PSNI move. In a statement he said: "Eamonn MacDermott is an established freelance journalist working in Northern Ireland, covering sensitive stories and with a wide range of contacts. The seizure of his phone and the accessing of his phone records by the police is another attack on the right of journalist to operate in Northern Ireland.
"The right to protect confidential sources of information is compromised when police act in this way and we take this action very seriously. Just as we supported the right of Suzanne Breen to protect her sources we protect the right of Eamonn MacDermott."

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