14 September 2010

Columbian journalist refused UK Visa

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An award-winning Colombian journalist has been refused entry to Britain to give a speech about her work in upholding human rights.

Claudia Duque was invited by the National Union of Journalists to give a speech in London as part of a European tour in which she collected a press freedom award in Stockholm from the Swedish arm of Reporters Without Borders.

Her UK Visa request was refused by the Home Office, a move that has been called “shameful” as the UK is the only country in the EU to do so.

Aidan White, general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, said: "It is extraordinary that the authorities in Britain are closing the door to one of Colombia's most distinguished reporters whose work is an inspiration in the struggle for democracy and human rights."

Duque’s work has included revealing the infiltration of extreme right-wing paramilitary groups into the Columbian government institutions.

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