Claudia Duque told Journalism.co.uk she was invited to Britain by the NUJ to give a speech about her work as a human rights journalist in Colombia, part of a tour of Europe where she has already picked up two awards for her journalism.
Duque, who was made an honorary member of the union earlier this year, has reportedly been subject to repeated harassment and was even kidnapped following her investigative work. Last night she collected the Press Freedom Award from the Swedish arm of Reporters Without Borders in Stockholm and in June she received the Ilaria Alpi Award for Investigative Journalism in Italy.
She told Journalism.co.uk she hopes to be able to travel to America in October next month to receive the Courage in Journalism Award, which she was granted by the International Women's Media Foundation.
"Claudia is in Europe to receive awards for her brave and courageous work documenting human rights abuses in Colombia," general secretary Jeremy Dear said in a report on the NUJ website.
"It is shameful that the UK government is the only one to turn down her visa request for what appear to be political reasons. The decision should be reversed as a matter of urgency."
The International Federation of Journalists general secretary Aidan White adds: "At a time when the international community should be cracking down hard on impunity and the violations of journalists' rights, it is extraordinary that the authorities in Britain are closing the door to one of Colombia's most distinguished reporters who work is an inspiration in the struggle for democracy and human rights."
At the time of writing, the Home Office had not responded to a request for comment.
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