18 May 2020 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 06 Feb 2020 n° 13/2020 United Kingdom

Graffiti Threatens Safety of Northern Ireland Journalist Leona O'Neill

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
On 4 February 2020, it came to light that graffiti referring to Northern Ireland journalist Leona O'Neill as a "M15 tout" and a "shit stirrer" had been daubed on a wall in the Creggan area of Derry/Londonderry. Creggan is where journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead last April. Leona O'Neill had been reporting at the scene, alongside Lyra McKee, at the time she was killed.

Leona O'Neill posted a picture of the graffiti on Twitter alongside the comment, "Graffiti about me has gone up in Creggan #Derry. I am neither a MI5 tout nor a shit stirrer. I am a journalist, working in my city trying to provide for my family. I consider this a threat to my safety. I call on community leaders to help me get this dangerous slur removed now."

This is the latest in a series of media freedom violations affecting Northern Ireland journalists from feeling free and safe to carry out their work. In 2019, three Council of Europe alerts were related to Northern Ireland.
Updates
07 Feb 2020
On 5 February 2020, on her twitter account, Leona O’Neill thanked the community activists who had moved swiftly to paint over the graffiti.
State replies
Freelancers

Key information :

Leona O'Neill

Working on Northern Ireland, specifically in Derry/Londonderry.
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