12 July 2010

US Visa for Harvard fellowship denied for Colombian journalist

A prominent Colombian journalist has been denied US Visa to enter the country to participate in a prestigious fellowship at Harvard University.

US Visa

The US Visa for a Colombian journalist has been denied.

The US Embassy ruled journalist Hollman Morris was ineligible to enter the United States under the "Terrorist Activities" section of the USA Patriot Act.

Morris’s work investigating abuses by far-right armed groups who fight the FARC in Colombia's isolated rural regions lead to him being awarded the Nieman Fellowship. The prestigious fellowship is a mid-career program at Harvard University for experienced reporters.

Outgoing Columbian President Alvaro Uribe described Morris as “an accomplice of terrorism” on 3 February last year, and the journalist has been accused of allegiance to the FARC guerrilla group.

While the Nieman Fellowship has brought journalists from around the world to Harvard to study this is the first time an American political decision has prevented a foreign journalist from studying.
The Nieman Fellowship curator, Bob Giles, has written to the State Department asking it to change its decision and issue a US Visa to Morris.  

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people make US Visa applications to the US immigration department.

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