Leah McGrath Goodman, American author and investigative journalist, was in the process of writing a book based on her inquiries into the Haut de la Garenne child abuse scandal when she was suddenly banned from re-entering the Channel Islands. Back in November, I posted an article summarising Goodman’s story and marking the one-year anniversary of her ban – The same post also included a link to member of Jersey parliament, Trevor Pitman’s petition on Change.org, which called on the UK government to restore Leah Goodman’s UK Tier-1 visa.
Since that time, I have received a number of updates courtesy of Trevor Pitman and change.org regarding the progress of Goodman’s efforts to return to Jersey in order to continue with her investigation. Earlier to today, I received the following message which I will reproduce in its entirety below:
I want to confide that at the final moment, the visa was held up by the UK Border Agency in New York, but Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley John Hemming put in a parliamentary question to Immigration Minister Damian Green about the delay and, presto, my visa arrived a few days later. (The magic of ministerial questioning.)
I also want to acknowledge the efforts of Jersey Immigration, which did a fantastic job of working with us once we were all able to fully communicate. (One of them actually contacted us late on a Sunday night to make sure all was in order.) In the final analysis, they had to overcome a struggle too.
Let’s show the world that the power of numbers (with a little help from social media) can bring justice to those in need. This is a new era and the Internet can accomplish much — especially for those on a small island.
As I continue my work, I will be writing about what I find in my travels at leahmcgrathgoodman.com. Hope to see you there.
While you’re at it, please also check out the blog of Trevor Pitman, the courageous man who launched this petition and a member of Jersey’s Parliament. He can be found at: http://thebaldtruthjersey.blogspot.com
Next month, Jersey legislators will be voting on whether a Committee of Inquiry will be allowed to do a comprehensive vetting of the island’s handling of its decades of child abuse. Will the committee be permitted to do a real investigation? This is an important time for eyes to remain on the island.
This is only the beginning, so please keep in touch. Remember, without your witnessing these events as they unfolded — and, now, as they continue to unfold — little would have changed. A thousand thanks to you.
P.S. Your excellent notes of support have been passed on to the victims’ advocacy group in Jersey, so those who still suffer every day know that people care for them. Because of your comments, they will not feel so alone.
This message is from Trevor Pitman, Deputy of the States of Jersey who started the petition “John Vine, UK independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration: Restore the visa of banned journalist Leah McGrath Goodman #FreeJersey”.