Afghan students denied US visa to attend robot competition

FILE - In this March 1, 2017, President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)


KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Six female students from war-torn Afghanistan who had hoped to participate in an international robotics competition in the United States this month will have to watch via video link after their visas were denied — not once, but twice.

The girls wanted to show the world that Afghans can also construct a hand-made robot, but out of 162 teams participating, the Afghan team was the only one to be denied visas.

Fourteen-year-old Sumaya Farooqi says when they were first rejected — after having made the 800-kilometer (500-mile) journey to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul — they “applied again for the U.S. visa and we were rejected again.”

The U.S. State Department declined to comment on why the girls’ visa applications were denied, citing a provision that prohibits discussing individual cases.


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