Wednesday, July 18, 2018 | ePaper

Australian Muslim activist 'kicked out of US'

  • Print


Australia's Yassmin Abdel-Magied says she was denied entry into the US ahead of a planned speaking engagement in New York

AFP, Sydney  :
A high-profile Australian author and Muslim activist was refused entry to the United States Thursday and put on a plane home after arriving for a speaking engagement, sparking calls for a re-think by border officials.
Yassmin Abdel-Magied, an advocate for youth, women and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, said she was stopped at immigration and ordered out of the country.
"Roughly three hours since touch down in Minneapolis, I'm on a plane back," she tweeted.
"Well, guess that tightening of immigration laws business is working, despite my Australian passport. We're taking off now."
A statement by US Customs and Border Protection, cited by Australian media, said she did not have the right visa.
Abdel-Magied was due to appear in New York to discuss online hate against Muslims and the difficulties of being a young Muslim woman in Western countries at a forum organised by PEN International, a freedom of expression organisation.
PEN America chief Suzanne Nossel said she was dismayed by the decision and understood it was the same type of visa used previously for similar trips without issue.
She said the purpose of the PEN World Voices Festival, founded after the 9/11 attacks, was to sustain links between the US and the wider world.
This, she said, was being jeopardised "by efforts at visa bans and tightened immigration restrictions" which threatened "to choke off vital channels of dialogue that are protected under the First Amendment right to receive and impart information through in-person cultural exchange".
"We call on Customs and Border to admit her to the US so that she can take her rightful place in the urgent international conversation to take place at the festival next week."
Adbel-Magied, 27, said authorities seized her phone and passport before putting her on a plane out. "Those who say the world is borderless are those who have the right colour passports-or birthplace," she tweeted. Abdel-Magied, a former Queensland state Young Australian of the Year and mechanical engineer, was born in Sudan but migrated to Australia in 1992. She moved to London last year.
She has worked as a presenter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and formerly served on the government's Council for Australian-Arab Relations.
She sparked an outcry in Australia over an Anzac Day social media post which referred to current global conflicts and the plight of asylum-seekers detained by Australia in offshore camps.
Anzac Day annually marks the ill-fated 1915 landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in modern-day Turkey during World War I.
Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs said it was aware she had been denied entry.
"Like Australia, the United States administers a strict entry regime. The decision on who can enter the United States is a matter solely for the US government," it added.

More News For this Category

No reason to believe Russia behind election meddling

No reason to believe Russia behind election meddling

Reuters, Helsinki :U.S. President Donald Trump emerged from a meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday saying he saw no reason to believe Russia had hacked the 2016 U.S. presidential election,

UK tops global ranking of nations' soft power, India not on list

PTI, New Delhi: The UK has topped an annual global ranking of nations' soft power, with France placed second on the list of 30 countries which does not feature India.The

US, North Korea hold 'productive' talks on war remains: Pompeo

US, North Korea hold 'productive' talks on war remains: Pompeo

AP, Seoul :U.S. and North Korean officials held "productive" talks Sunday to discuss the return of U.S. service members' remains missing since the Korean War, U.S. Secretary of State Mike

US Judge suspends deportation of reunited migrant families

US Judge suspends deportation of reunited migrant families

AFP, Los Angeles  :A federal judge in San Diego issued an order on Monday barring officals from deporting newly reunited immigrant families for up to one week.District Judge Dana Sabraw

News in brief

US to consider waivers on Iran sanctionsReuters, Washington The United States in certain cases will consider waivers for countries that need more time to wind down imports of oil from

Gaza mourns teenage boys killed in Israeli air raid

Gaza mourns teenage boys killed in Israeli air raid

Al Jazeera News :Umm Luay zooms in on a photograph on her mobile phone and kisses the screen, again and again.In the photo, her son, Luay Kaheel, is seen

Khamenei seeks better ties with the world, apart from US

Khamenei seeks better ties with the world, apart from US

AFP, Tehran :Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei has called for better ties with the world - though not with the United States, according his official website on Monday.Khamenei met

Russia targeted by 25m cyber-attacks during World Cup: Putin

AFP, Moscow :Russia was the target of almost 25 million cyber-attacks during the World Cup, President Vladimir Putin said, though he did not indicate who may have been behind

News In Brief

Strikes blamed on Israel killed 9 pro-regime fighters in SyriaAFP, BeirutAt least nine pro-regime fighters died in an overnight strike in northern Syria blamed on Israel, a monitor said

Trump blames US foolishness and stupidity' for poor Russia ties

Trump blames US foolishness and stupidity' for poor Russia ties

Reuters, Helsinki :U.S. President Donald Trump blamed "U.S. foolishness and stupidity" for bad relations between Washington and Moscow, hours before he was to sit down to a one-on-one meeting