New York City, July 13, 2010—The American Civil Liberties Union, American Association of University Professors and PEN American Center today sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing alarm over reports that prominent Colombian journalist Hollman Morris was denied a visa to travel to the United States. Morris was one of 12 international journalists selected to participate in the Nieman fellowship program at Harvard University during the 2010-11 academic year. However, when he applied for a visa in order to attend the program, he was informed by the U.S. embassy in Bogota that he had been found permanently ineligible for a visa under the Patriot Act.

According to today’s letter, the exclusion of Morris limits the ability of his “colleagues and hosts to exercise fully their First Amendment rights,” and is out of step with “this administration’s stated commitment to fostering a free exchange of information and ideas between the U.S. and the world.”

Earlier this year, Clinton signed orders effectively lifting the exclusion from the United States of prominent scholars Adam Habib and Tariq Ramadan.

The ACLU is the nation’s largest civil liberties organization, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

The American Association of University Professors is a nonprofit charitable and educational organization that promotes academic freedom by supporting tenure, academic due process, shared governance and standards of quality in higher education. The AAUP has over 47,000 members at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

PEN American Center is the largest of the 145 centers of International PEN, the world’s oldest human rights organization and the oldest international literary organization. PEN’s Campaign for Core Freedoms works to: protect personal privacy; preserve public access to information and a full range of voices from the United States and around the world; and promote policies that reflect a core commitment to human rights. For more information, please visit www.pen.org

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  • July 13, 2010: Letter to Secretary of State Clinton on Colombian Journalist’s Exclusion from U.S.

Rachel Myers, ACLU, (212) 549-2689 or 2666, media@aclu.org
John Curtis, AAUP, (202) 737-5900 ext. 143, jcurtis@aaup.org
Sarah Hoffman, PEN, (212) 334-1660 ext. 111, sarah@pen.org