The court in Bogota, Colombia is due to hear the testimony of the Colombian prominent journalist Claudia Julieta Duque, in a case involving a former senior officer of the Department of Administrative Security (DAS), the infamous secret service in Colombia which has been disbanded.
Claudia, who was kidnapped and still lives under state protection for her investigations into the murder of her fellow journalist Jaime Garzón Forero killed in 1999, will testify against a former DAS Deputy Director for his alleged part in psychological torture she suffered for many years under the regime of ex-President Alvaro Uribe Velez.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), representing over 600.000 members in 134 countries and its affiliate in UK and Ireland, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), have joined other international organisations showing their support to Claudia at today’s hearing in the capital city Bogota.
These organisations, including the IFJ affiliate in Colombia Fecolper, will hold a press conference after the hearing and issue a statement calling for integrity in the court case’s proceedings, the protection of Claudia and her family members and counsel, the speedy arrests of other accused who are on the run as well as further investigations against the mastermind former of psychological torture against Claudia, including the former head of DAS.
“Today’s testimony is the result of the relentless fight for justice waged by Claudia with the support of the IFJ, the NUJ and many other organisations,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with her as she stares down those who for long have been persecuted journalists working in Colombia, both local and foreign reporters.”
The NUJ, which admitted Claudia Duque as honorary member, praised Claudia for her determination to fight impunity, in the face of threats to both her life and family members.
“Claudia has earned her day in court to tell the whole world her ordeal at the hands of those who abuse their power to silence journalists,” added Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ General Secretary. “Her strength of character and courage under the most testing of times - for her and those dearest to her – has been an inspiration to journalists around the world.”
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries