International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today welcomed the decision
of the court in Belfast, Northern Ireland,
to dismiss the application of the Police Services of Northern Ireland (PSNI) about forcing the Sunday Tribune's
journalist, Suzanne Breen, to reveal her source for the story she published on
the murder of two British soldiers by the Real IRA.
is a historic victory in the journalists' fight for the protection of sources,"
said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "It is a milestone achievement for
Suzanne and the National Union of Journalists in Great
Britain and Ireland
who have supported her throughout the process."
Burgess, hearing the application, today ruled that granting the application
would breach the journalist's right to life under the European Convention on Human Rights.
PSNI was seeking a court order against Suzanne to hand over material, including
tapes and notes which contained information of her source and a member of the
paramilitary group, the Real IRA, which claimed responsibility for the murder of
the soldiers in March.
IFJ supported the arguments of Suzanne that handing over the material for her
story would not just infringe her right as a journalist to protect her source,
but also put her at the serious risk of violence from the paramilitary group.
decision spares our colleague a real and serious risk to her safety," added
White. "The PSNI sought to turn media into unwilling police informants at the
expense of independent and safe journalism."
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The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists
in 123 countries worldwide