Oscars 2017: Syrian cinematographer barred from entering US

US immigration officials have barred a Syrian cinematographer, who worked on an Oscar-nominated film, from entering the USA, the Associated Press reported early Saturday. But his plans have been upended after USA officials reported finding "derogatory information" against Khateeb. He was scheduled to arrive Saturday, but his plans have changed after US officials reportedly found "derogatory information" regarding Khateeb.

According to internal Trump administration correspondence seen by the Associated Press, the Department of Homeland Security has chose to block Khateeb from the country after reportedly finding "derogatory" information about him, an official term that can mean anything from terror connections to passport irregularities.

However, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, Gillian Christensen, said, "A valid travel document is required for travel to the United States".

Khaled Khateeb, 21, was due to attend the award ceremony following the nomination of The White Helmets for best documentary short.

"Derogatory information" is an ambiguous term which could signify a variety of reasons for detention, from errors in documentation to possible terror connections.

The AP reported that Turkish authorities detained Khatib earlier this week, although it was not clear why.

On Friday, Saleh also revealed that he would not be attending the Oscars, but that was due to his Nobel Peace Prize-nominated rescue efforts and not the travel ban, Al Jazeera reports.

Khateeb was the Press Officer for the Syrian Civil Defense, and joined the project in 2015 after meeting the film's director, Orlando von Einsiedel. "This is what I hope the film does", Khatib had said in a statement once.

  • Salvatore Jensen