Donald Trump’s new visa ban is creating widespread ripples…
Iran is in the running for its second-ever Academy Award – but those behind it won’t be there to collect the little gold man, should they win.
The new visa ban imposted on citizens from seven MENA nations will prevent director Asghar Farhadi and actress Taraneh Alidoosti from travelling to the US for the awards on February 26.
And, even if they were able to gain entry to the States, they would still boycott the event, said Alidoosti.
“Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest,” the actress tweeted.
— Taraneh Alidoosti (@t_alidoosti) January 26, 2017
The new US President issued an executive order on Friday blocking nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US – even if they had visas already in place.
Citizens from the nations in question – Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iran and Iraq – will now be unable to travel to the States for 90 days.
In addition, Trump’s order also prevents immigration by Syrian citizens indefinitely, and also blocks refugee admissions for 120 days.
The move has sparked widespread protests at airports across America, while a federal judge imposed an emergency ruling preventing those already detained from being deported.
Despite the outcry, Trump is sticking to his laurels.
“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. Don’t want them here,” Trump told media over the weekend.
“It’s not a Muslim ban, but we were totally prepared. It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over.”
Following the move, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences issued a statement condemning the ban.
“The Academy celebrates achievement in the art of filmmaking, which seeks to transcend borders and speak to audiences around the world, regardless of national, ethnic, or religious differences,” a spokesperson said, according to Variety.
“As supporters of filmmakers ― and the human rights of all people ― around the globe, we find it extremely troubling that Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Oscar-winning film from Iran A Separation, along with the cast and crew of this year’s Oscar-nominated film The Salesman, could be barred from entering the country because of their religion or country of origin.”
Farsi drama The Salesman, which tells the story of an acting couple’s strained relationship, is up for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th annual Oscars.
The acclaimed film was nominated at the 2017 Golden Globes, and won Best Screenplay and Best Actor at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
Director Farhadi issued his own statement to the New York Times, saying Trump’s order was “accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip”.
“I hereby express my condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries trying to legally enter the United States of America and hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations.”
Passengers turned away at DXB
Dubai International Airport had to stop a “handful” of people from flying to the US following the visa ban,
“The effect has been very minimal at the moment. We don’t have the exact figures but literally a handful of people have had to be looked after and repatriated to their point of origin,” Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths told Dubai Eye on Monday.
One traveller who was prevented from departing for the US is Nazanin Zinouri, an Iranian PhD graduate who studied in the States.
Zinouri was asked to exit a plane bound for Washington at DXB, she said in a Facebook post.
“No one warned me when I was leaving, no one cared what will happen to my dog or my job or my life there,” she said in a heartfelt statement.
“No one told me what I should do with my car that is still parked at the airport parking. Or what to do with my house and all my belongings.”
Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Twitter