65 Writers, Artists Urge Trump to Revoke Travel Ban

Sixty-five writers and artists from around the world have sent an open letter to US President Donald Trump, urging him to revoke the recent executive order that bans citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

The joint letter, which was released by the human rights organization PEN America on Tuesday, warns that Trump’s executive order contradicts US national interests and would impair “freedom of movement and the global exchange of arts and ideas.”

“Closing our doors to writers, artists, musicians, and intellectuals not only fails to make America safer, but also creates a sort of cultural isolationism that will tear at our nation’s creative fabric,” said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America.

The group uses the example of the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who is nominated for an Academy Award for his film The Salesman. However, Farhadi has announced that he would boycott the ceremony even if he were granted an exception to Trump’s controversial decision.

Trump signed an executive order on January 27, which was put on hold by federal courts, restricting the entry of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

However, Trump has said that his administration is considering a new version of the order.

“The new order will also exempt people who already have a visa to travel to the United States, even if they haven’t used it yet, or who hold green cards, and dual citizens of the US and any of those countries are also exempt,” a senior Trump administration official said Monday.

His controversial immigration policies, along with a series of federal raids last week, have alarmed immigrant rights’ groups and sparked a series of protests in cities and airports across the US.

Since his inauguration on January 20, Trump has faced nearly non-stop protests and rallies, including mass demonstration focused on women’s rights that drew millions of people around the world on the day after he was sworn in.



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