UK: Colombian journalist refused entry
Claudia Duque was hoping to visit 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. The NUJ’s general secretary, Jeremy Dear, said: “It is shameful that the UK government is the only one to turn down her visa request.” And 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 has been a thorn in the side of Colombia’s government, not least by revealing the infiltration of extreme right-wing paramilitary groups into government institutions. In October last year, she found that bodyguards assigned to protect her following death threats were spies acting for the Colombian secret police. She has done much to expose the shadowy work of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS), Colombia’s leading intelligence agency.
It is unclear why the Home Office denied her a visa.