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New death threat against television programme director Hollman Morris

(FLIP/IFEX) - On the night of 27 September 2007, journalist Hollman Morris, director of "Contravía" television programme, received a new death threat in his personal e-mail. The message, containing the comment, "for being a squealer, for being a guerrilla, it's coming soon," arrived with an attached electronic document containing a photograph of the journalist marked with an "x". The threat was sent from an e-mail address of a group apparently calling itself the "Colombian Patriotic Front" ("Frente Patriótico Colombiano").

Morris told FLIP that "Contravía" ceased being broadcast two months ago, due to budgetary problems. However, he is still preparing various programmes in different departments across the country, dealing with such topics as forced displacement, paramilitarism and the discovery of new mass graves containing the bodies of victims of the armed conflict, and he expects to air these programmes within the next few months.

Measures to protect the journalist and his family will be strengthened, at the request of the Ministry of the Interior's Programme for the Protection of Journalists, which will also be investigating the incident to identify those making the new threat.

Morris had already been the target of threats in March 2006, after a video accusing him of being an international spokesman for the guerilla group Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) began circulating (see IFEX alerts of 17 and 5 April 2006). The video was made by a group calling itself the "Frente Social por la Paz", apparently a criminal gang recently constituted by the paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC).

FLIP again condemns the threats against Morris and calls on the authorities to implement as soon as possible the suggested security measures to protect Morris and his family. FLIP also urges the new threat be investigated with the aim of identifying the source and determining if it is connected to the incident which occurred in March 2006.

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