Professor Frances Corner, Warden of Goldsmiths, University of London has written to the US Ambassador to urge a reversal of a decision by US authorities to deny entry to Professor Eyal Weizman.
Professor Weizman, Director of Forensic Architecture, part of the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, was due to attend the opening of an exhibition in Miami on 19 February. However, he was informed by US authorities that his visa had been revoked and he was not authorised to enter the country. He was later told at the US Embassy in London that this decision was because an algorithm had identified an unspecified security threat related to him.
In a public statement Professor Weizman said: “I was asked to supply the Embassy with additional information, including fifteen years of travel history, in particular where I had gone and who had paid for it… working in human rights means being in contact with vulnerable communities, activists and experts, and being entrusted with sensitive information. These networks are the lifeline of any investigative work. I am alarmed that relations among our colleagues, stakeholders, and staff are being targeted by the U.S. government as security threats.”
In the letter the Warden expressed her “deep concern” over the decision, stating: “For Professor Weizman to be denied entry to the US, apparently on the grounds of being flagged a security risk, is of great disappointment. Alongside a growing number of voices, including Amnesty International, we call upon the US authorities to reverse this decision.”
The Warden has also written to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson MP, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab MP, Chief Executive of Universities UK Alistair Jarvis, and Vicky Foxcroft MP asking them to raise the issue with the US authorities.
Read the full text of the Warden’s letter: Letter to Ambassador Johnson (PDF)