Belfast Telegraph journalist warned of UDA threats

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Loyalist paramilitaries have issued threats against a journalist working for the Belfast Telegraph, the paper has said.

It is understood the threats came from the south-east Antrim UDA.

The south-east Antrim Ulster Defence Association is a break-away faction, heavily-engaged in crimes such as drug-dealing.

Politicians who condemned the threats issued in May were also threatened.

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The three papers are owned by Independent News & Media (INM).

Eoin Brannigan, editor-in-chief of the Belfast Telegraph and the Sunday Life, said: "This is the second time this year we've had our journalists threatened in this manner.

"We are reassured that the PSNI is taking this threat very seriously."

Séamus Dooley, of the National Union of Journalists, said "yet again a journalist is faced with threats simply for doing their job".

"Threats and intimidation have no place in Northern Ireland and journalists will not buckle in the face of these tactics."

Justice Minister Naomi Long tweeted: "Journalistic freedom is vital in any democracy. Those who oppose it are enemies of freedom and democracy."

Amnesty International called for the threat to be "lifted immediately".