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Journalist Hollman Morris granted visa to join Harvard programme

(PEN American Center/IFEX) - New York City, July 27, 2010 - A prominent Colombian journalist who was once barred from the United States has been granted a visa to come to this country to study. PEN American Center, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this month expressing alarm over reports that Hollman Morris had been denied a visa to travel to the U.S. Morris was one of 12 international journalists selected to participate in the Nieman fellowship at Harvard University during the 2010-11 academic year. However, when he applied for a visa in order to attend the program he was told by the U.S. Embassy in Bogota that he had been found permanently ineligible for a visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The reversal of that decision means Morris will likely be able to come to the U.S. to participate in the program.

"We're extremely relieved that Hollman Morris will be able to join the Nieman Fellows program this fall. We've generally been pleased by the administration's actions to end the practice of excluding international scholars and writers on ideological grounds, and so we were surprised and alarmed that Mr. Morris was denied a visa when he applied this summer. We're grateful to the State Department for moving quickly to correct the situation," said Larry Siems, director of the Freedom to Write and International Programs at PEN American Center.

Click here to read the PEN/ACLU/AAUP letter to Secretary Clinton
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