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| 3/30/2009 12:00:00 AM

Uribe, courts hold critical journalists in contempt

Mar 30 -- Daniel Coronell's name didn't come up in a hearing this week on Capitol Hill, even though CPJ had just learned that a Colombian court had ordered the arrest of the respected Canal Uno TV reporter and Semana magazine columnist over his work.

Coronell is one of many journalists and human rights monitors who've lately been forced to defend themselves against irregular, if not bogus, criminal charges brought in Colombian courts. The hearing held by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the House Foreign Affairs Committee did, however, hear important testimony from one of Coronell's colleagues.

Hollman Morris, another respected TV journalist (his program CONTRAVÍA roughly translates as "The Other Way"), told Commission Co-Chairman Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) as well as Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-Penn.) that he recently learned that Colombian prosecutors were preparing criminal charges against him. By then Andrew Hudson of Human Rights First had already told the bipartisan commission that Colombian prosecutors had recently brought no less than 32 unfounded and "specious" criminal investigations against Colombians, including journalists as well as human rights investigators.
 
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