16 July 2010

International groups lobby government to issue US Visa for Hollman Morris

International journalism groups and human rights organizations have called on the US government to lift a ban denying a US Visa to Columbian journalist Hollman Morris.

US Visa

Journalist groups are lobbying for the US Visa ban on Hollman Morris to be lifted.

Hollman Morris was awarded the prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard but his US Visa application to enter the United States was refused, and Morris has been deemed permanently ineligible for a visa under the “terrorist activities” section of the US Patriot Act.

Morris’s award-winning television program Contravía has been a harsh critic of Colombia's armed conflict and the government, and its investigative work has resulted in the imprisonment of 30 Congress members.

The Nieman Fellowship curator Bob Giles said he was very surprised about the denial, as Morris has previously travelled to the US to give speeches and receive awards.

A number of international journalism groups including the Inter American Press Association, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Dart Society, and Investigative Reporters and Editors have lobbied the government to  reverse its decision.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also been sent a letter from The American Civil Liberties Union, the American Association of University Professors, and the PEN American Center asking her to lift the ban against Morris.

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

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