28 July 2020
Please take a moment to write to your MP
WE ARE DELIGHTED at the clear and unambiguous ruling of the Lord Chief Justice in the case of journalists Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney, whose arrests for their role in making the award-winning documentary No Stone Unturned - about the Loughinsland massacre - were judged to be unlawful. So, at the time of writing, were 12 members of the UK Parliament, who had by then signed Early Day Motion 748 to say so.
The EDM goes on to note that the arrests were carried out by Durham Constabulary at the behest of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on warrants issued outside the correct legal framework. It "further welcomes the recent unreserved apology made to the two journalists by the PSNI, which committed to reviewing the legal judgement to learn all appropriate lessons; believes that not only were the unlawful arrests a cause of distress, the position of the police since the illegal detentions has had a devastating impact on those two NUJ members; notes that the PSNI still retains a vast amount of journalistic material despite the issue of the court order; calls on the Chief Constable to demonstrate the sincerity of the apology by bringing to an end this shameful episode by arranging the immediate return of all material seized or copied; and further calls on the PSNI to act on the information contained in No Stone Unturned to ensure that justice is delivered for the families of the Loughinisland victims."
That last bit is the payload: can Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney have their stuff back, as the Lord Chief Justice says they should? The National Union of Journalists urges you to write to your MP to ask them to add their name to the motion.
There's a list of EDMs that the NUJ supports on the NUJ in Parliament page.
Another - EDM 723 - condemns "the tiny British Association of Journalists" for its "wholly unethical and unprincipled sweetheart deal with the management of Iran International".
You can discover who your MP is at They Work for You.