Thursday, 3 January 2013

Leah McGrath Goodman Latest Update.

Readers of our sister site VFC and most Jersey Blogsites will be aware of author and Investigative Journalist Leah McGrath Goodman who was banned from Britain and Jersey after it became apparent that she was researching Child Abuse and possible murder at children's Home Haute de la Garenne.

Jersey Deputy Trevor Pitman started an e-petition in order to help bring pressure on the powers that be to restore Miss Goodman's visa which has now exceeded 3,000 signatures.

Here is the latest update from Leah McGrath Goodman from that petition.

It is very uplifting to see people speaking out around the world in defense of children and the free press. I read all of your comments and they do help me a great deal on this journey.

So far, this petition has done more than I ever expected in exerting pressure on the Powers That Be, letting them know that wealth and privilege should never trump the principles of a true democracy.

You are the ones who will not sit by in silence – and if I am allowed back into the UK, it will be because of you. As for the latest twist in this labyrinth: the last you heard from me, I had just submitted (again) for a UK visa to investigate longstanding allegations of violence against children in the UK – in some cases, involving accusations of murder, particularly at an orphanage on the island of Jersey called Haut de la Garenne.

I submitted for the visa 30 November. I still await a response from the UK.

This will be the third time I have applied to enter the UK since the date of my banning in September 2011. (The other two visas were denied, despite my clean record and former Tier-1 visa status as a UK resident.)

Based on the fact that 90% of UK visa applications are cleared within 21 days, according to the UK’s own statistics, it appears as though someone does not want my application to go through.

So far, we have only heard that my application has been received by the UK, but not processed. Last week, I received a form letter from the British Consulate in New York stating that my application had been delayed. The reason: it required “further processing.” No additional information was given.

We have inquired with Jersey Immigration as to what the reason for this could be. They have said there is no cause for concern.

In light of the resistance I have faced for the past year in my efforts to complete my research in the UK, it is clear I may only be allowed to return by harnessing strength in numbers. You are those numbers.

Seeing as this is a numbers game, please urge at least one other person (or many others) to sign this petition before the New Year. It will make all the difference. So long as the UK bars me from entering the country, its free press is not guaranteed and the safety of its children remains in question. But as long as this group grows, it shows it cannot and will not be silenced.

With your help, I will see my visa restored in 2013.

All the best – and happy holidays.


Please sign, and share, the petition from HERE?


Anonymous said...

Sorry if this question has been asked and answered before, but does the UK have the legal authority to approve her visa independently, or does Jersey? I am having trouble following the probable chain of command over the visa process.


LMG said...

Hi -- this is Leah McGrath Goodman answering the question about who has the authority to OK my visa. The answer is, the UK Border Agency manages all the visas in the UK Common Travel Area, which includes Jersey. If I am headed to Jersey, the UKBA must OK the application, then send it on to Jersey for the island's approval. In other words, I need approval from both. When I was banned, the UKBA said Jersey had objected to my entry; Jersey said the UKBA objected. I believe Jersey was the one that blocked me at that time, because the UK had never blocked me before and Jersey Immigration told me in advance it might attempt to block me if I returned to do more research (which it did, weeks later). My understanding is that Jersey has veto power over any visa issued to me that may involve my traveling to Jersey. The UKBA is the gatekeeper, but Jersey can make or break me.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your explanation.

I hope the international journalism community will help strengthen your cause. Your visa situation should be of interest to all who depend upon or value free speech.