Emad Burnat in Bil’in. (Photo: Edmund Sanders / LA Times)
5 Broken Cameras director Emad Burnat has issued a statement on being detained at LAX:
"Last night, on my way from Turkey to Los Angeles, CA, my family and I were held at US immigration for about an hour and questioned about the purpose of my visit to the United States. Immigration officials asked for proof that I was nominated for an Academy Award® for the documentary 5 BROKEN CAMERAS and they told me that if I couldn't prove the reason for my visit, my wife Soraya, my son Gibreel and I would be sent back to Turkey on the same day.
After 40 minutes of questions and answers, Gibreel asked me why we were still waiting in that small room. I simply told him the truth: 'Maybe we'll have to go back.' I could see his heart sink.
Although this was an unpleasant experience, this is a daily occurrence for Palestinians, every single day, throughout the West Bank. There are more than 500 Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks, and other barriers to movement across our land, and not a single one of us has been spared the experience that my family and I experienced yesterday. Ours was a very minor example of what my people face every day."
Michael Moore has written an account of the story on his website -- "How My Friend and Current Oscar Nominee Emad Burnat Was Held and Threatened with Deportation Last Night at LAX."
Last night filmmaker Michael Moore broke news over Twitter when he reported that 5 Broken Cameras director Emad Burnat was being detained at Los Angeles International Airport along with his family when they arrived to attend the Academy Awards this Sunday. Burnat was threatened with deportation, but eventually let into the United States for one week to attend the awards ceremony. Burnat reportedly told Moore: "It's nothing I'm not already used to, when you live under occupation, with no rights, this is a daily occurrence."
Here is how Moore told the story to his 1.4 million Twitter followers: