Call for action after sick threats made to NI journalist’s child

Amnesty International has called on the PSNI to hold those responsible for making threats against the young son of a Northern Ireland journalist to be held to account.

Sunday, 9th May 2021, 12:44 pm
Northern Ireland journalist Patricia Devlin

Journalist Patricia Devlin, who has previously received multiple death threats and other threats of violence, has been sent a new threat to rape her young child.

The threat, received via a message to her personal Facebook account, said: “Your baby will suffer very soon from rape very nice”.

Last year, the award-winning crime reporter, lodged an official complaint with the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland (PONI) over a police failure to investigate a previous threat to rape her newborn son.

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The outcome of that investigation is pending.

That threat came in October 2019 by direct message to her personal Facebook account. It was signed with the name of a neo-Nazi terror group – Combat 18.

Another threat to rape her son came this Friday via Facebook.

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International UK, said: “This latest threat sent to Patricia Devlin is totally abhorrent and part of a wider climate of intimidation and violence which is undermining press freedom in Northern Ireland.

“Amnesty International has been watching with increasing concern the constant stream of threats being received by journalists in Northern Ireland, designed to shut down press scrutiny of criminal and paramilitary activity.”

He continued: “The dismal failure of the PSNI to properly investigate a previous complaint to rape her baby is simply unacceptable.

“Impunity breeds contempt for the law and emboldens those who want to intimidate journalists. The police must demonstrate that they take the threats seriously and start bringing these criminals to account.”

Patricia is a former employee of Morton Newspapers and is currently working for the Sunday World newspaper.

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