Far-right fatwa on photographers

NUJ freelances Marc Vallée and Jason Parkinson have received death threats following their coverage of English Defence League demonstrations. Photojournalist and London Photographers Branch member Marc and NUJ video journalist Jason received emails after covering and EDL event in Leeds and other EDL protests throughout 2009. The NUJ has received other reports from photographers of verbal threats, intimidation and assaults while covering EDL demos. The union is providing legal support to those affected, and plans to file complaints to the police.

Jason Parkinson said:

"It is ironic the English Defence League claim they are protesting 'peacefully' against Muslim extremism.

"Then late Saturday night, after returning from covering the Leeds protest, I receive a threatening email from one of their Welsh and English division organisers entitled 'Fatwa'. 'A fatwa has been issued on you my communist friend. Enjoy any money you've made from EDL protests, as if you are spotted again you will be fed up.'"

Jason says he has traced the email to an organiser of the  English and Welsh Defence League divisions. See Jason's Comment is Free piece on this incident.

NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear added:

"These are not idle threats made by kids - these are direct, named threats made by individuals who can be traced - in one case an individual already convicted of stabbing someone.

"They are designed to silence the media and stop photographers showing the true nature of the protests and protestors. The police must act now before a journalist is killed or seriously injured."

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