JournalismPakistan.com December 20, 2012
LONDON: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says it is alarmed that two attacks against journalists in Northern Ireland have taken place over the past week.
On Friday, a pipe bomb was left at the door of the home of freelance press photographer Mark Pearce. On Monday, Adrian Rutherford, a reporter with the daily Belfast Telegraph, was attacked by a gang while covering Loyalist protests in East Belfast.
Early Friday morning, police alerted Pearce, who has worked as a photojournalist for more than 20 years and frequently covers political rallies and demonstrations, that a pipe bomb was planted in front of his home in Carraig Crosain near Newry, County Down, according to local news reports.
Pearce, his partner, and two children, evacuated along with the occupants of five neighboring homes. The photojournalist believes the bomb was in connection to his work, as reported by the Guardian, BBC, Belfast Telegraph and other UK media.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland told CPJ it is too early to confirm whether the bomb attempt was related to Pearce's journalism but will follow all lines of inquiry.
In a separate case, on Monday, a masked mob chased Rutherford down the street, assaulted him, and stole his mobile phone. Northern Ireland has witnessed two weeks of demonstrations by loyalists opposed to Belfast city council's decision to cut the number of days the union flag flies above city hall.
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A study conducted by JournalismPakistan.com and Communications Research Strategies on the economic situation of slain journalists' families and journalists displaced due to security threats.