Eyal Weizman was told by an officer at the US Embassy in London that his visa was revoked for triggering a “security algorithm.”
On February 12, two days before his scheduled flight from London to New York, Weizman received an email from the US Embassy notifying him that his visa-waiver (ESTA) had been revoked, and that he was not authorized to travel to the US. The embassy’s notice stated no reason for the revocation and did not offer Weizman the opportunity to appeal the decision or to arrange for an alternative visa (Weizman holds British and Israeli nationalities).
Weizman said he ventured to the US Embassy in London the following day, and that in an interview, an officer told him that his authorization to travel had been revoked because a “security algorithm” identified him, or someone associated with him, as a “security threat.” A spokesperson for the US Embassy in London was not available for comment.
Weizman was asked to provide the embassy with additional information, including 15 years of travel history, with emphasis on who funded his trips. The artist adds that he was cajoled to disclose contacts that “might have triggered the algorithm” to Homeland Security investigators. Weizman declined to provide this information to the authorities.
“Working in human rights means being in contact with vulnerable communities, activists and experts, and being entrusted with sensitive information,” Weizman said. “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 US government as security threats.”