Colombian President Álvaro Uribe received fierce criticism from
journalists, the UN, the OAS and international human rights groups for
accusing Colombian journalist Hollman Morris to be an accomplice of terrorism.
The journalist was present last Sunday on the site where the FARC liberated four members of the security forces.
Morris was interviewing the three soldiers and one policeman after the hostages had been threatened by the FARC and were forced to make statements in favor of the FARC. Uribe accused the journalist of doing the rebels favors and ignoring his responsibilities as a journalist.
Morris himself said he never knew he was going to the hostage release operation, but was in the region to make a documentary about FARC hostages. He said he was taken to the site by guerrillas and offered to interview the four, which he agreed to do.
When interviewing the first hostage, he noticed the official was not speaking freely and refused to interview the other three, Morris said. He only asked them their names and time in captivity. Morris never published the material shot of the hostages.
Morris was shortly detained after the ordeal, which lead to protests by national Freedom of Press organization FLIP.
The human rights offices of the United Nations (UN) and the International Organization of American States (OAS) backed the denouncements made by the FLIP and called on Uribe to stop stigmatizing journalists.
In response, Uribe Wednesday expressed his surprise about how quick the international organizations had responded to the incident and asked the OAS to investigate Morris instead. Uribe also asked the Prosecutor general’s Office to investigate if Morris had collaborated with terrorists.