WASHINGTON — Kareem Abeed, producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Last Men in Aleppo,” has been granted a travel visa that will allow him to attend the Oscars after all, after an appeal was made to the State Department, a spokesman for the movie said on Wednesday.
Abeed, who initially had been denied a visa to travel to the United States last month, is expected to attend, the spokesman said.
Abeed holds a Syrian passport and is currently living in Turkey. According to a letter from the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, his application was rejected under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. President Donald Trump placed a travel ban on eight countries, including Syria.
But Feras Fayyad, the director of the movie, said on Twitter that Abeed was able to obtain a travel visa.
“Thanks for everyone involved to helping this process and thanks for all the solidarity and the effort from the American friends for facing trump ban to help us to be with our film,” Fayyad said.
After Abeed got word earlier this month that his visa application had been denied, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the International Documentary Association put out statements in support.
“As supporters of filmmakers — and the human rights of all people — around the globe, we stand in solidarity with Fayyad as well as the film’s producer Kareem Abeed, who was denied a visa to the United States to attend the Academy Awards on March 4,” the Academy said in its statement.
Mahmoud Al-Hattar, co-founder of the White Helmets and a subject of the film, will not attend the Oscar ceremony. He had been denied a passport by the Syrian government, as the Assad regime has accused the White Helmets of having links to terrorism, although those claims are unfounded.
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