Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Syrian who worked on nominated film can't attend Oscars

Published:Sunday | February 26, 2017 | 12:00 AM
An Oscar statue is displayed at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles where the Academy Awards will be held today.


United States immigration authorities are barring entry to a 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer who worked on a harrowing film about his nation's civil war, The White Helmets, that has been nominated for an Academy Award.

According to internal Trump administration correspondence seen by The Associated Press, the Department of Homeland Security decided, at the last minute, to block Khaled Khateeb from travelling to Los Angeles for the Oscars.

Khateeb was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles yesterday for today's function, but his plans have been upended after US officials reported finding "derogatory information" regarding him.

Derogatory information is a broad category that can include anything from terror connections to passport irregularities.

Khateeb had been issued a visa to attend the ceremony with Hollywood's biggest stars. But Turkish authorities detained him this week, according to the internal US government correspondence, and he suddenly needed a passport waiver from the United States to enter the country.