Sunday, April 22, 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

Thousands of  students to walkout across US  in call for gun reform

Thousands of students to walkout across US in call for gun reform

Reuters, Colorado : Thousands of students again walked out of classes across the United States on Friday, marking the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School with a

Internal review cleared Trump's CIA pick in videotape destruction

Internal review cleared Trump's CIA pick in videotape destruction

Reuters, Washington  :An internal CIA review in 2011 cleared U.S. President Donald Trump's choice to head the agency, Gina Haspel, of wrongdoing in the destruction of videotapes depicting the

Iran vows ‘expected and unexpected’ moves if US exits deal

Iran vows ‘expected and unexpected’ moves if US exits deal

Reuters, Dubai :Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday Iran's atomic agency was ready with "expected and unexpected" reactions if the United States pulls out of a multinational nuclear

News In Brief

Macron, Trump to dine at Mt Vernon on MondayAFP, Mount VernonThe Trumps, it seems, have not forgotten their intimate meal with the Macrons on the second floor of the

Leak crackdown talk yields rare Comey, Trump agreement

Leak crackdown talk yields rare Comey, Trump agreement

AP, Washington :James Comey and President Donald Trump seem to disagree on most everything, but the ex-FBI director's memos show consensus on at least one thing: the need to

China, Iran, Russia are 'forces for instability': US

China, Iran, Russia are 'forces for instability': US

AP, Washington :The United States branded strategic rivals China and Russia "forces of instability" on Friday, grouping them with Iran and North Korea as countries whose rights abuses amount

Koreas set up 1st hotline between leaders ahead of summit

Koreas set up 1st hotline between leaders ahead of summit

AP, Seoul :North and South Korea installed the first-ever telephone hotline between their leaders Friday as they prepare for a rare summit next week aimed at resolving the nuclear

Alabama executes inmate, 83, oldest in modern US history

Alabama executes inmate, 83, oldest in modern US history

Reuters, Alabama :Alabama on Thursday executed an 83-year-old man convicted of a deadly 1989 serial bombing spree, making him the oldest known person put to death in the modern

Cuba's new President Diaz-Canel vows to 'continue' revolution

Cuba's new President Diaz-Canel vows to 'continue' revolution

AFP, Havana, Cuba :  Cuba's new President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who was on Thursday named as Raul Castro's successor, vowed to keep the Caribbean island on the path of "revolution"

News In Brief

50 migrant caravan reach Mexico, US borderReuters, Mexico City A group of 50 Central American migrants who set out from southern Mexico in late March have reached the U.S.