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Yemeni Journalist Says US Visa Approved After 2 Denials

Journalist Afrah Nasser celebrates obtaining a visa to enter the US in this photo tweeted by Fatma Naib, Oct. 23, 2017.

Prominent Yemeni journalist Afrah Nasser says she has obtained a visa to enter the United States, after twice being denied, so she can accept an award next month from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

"We did it! I got the visa!" Nasser wrote on Twitter. She added an embassy officer said the visa was being granted "this time as we realized the significance of the award you got."

The CPJ announced last month it would present its 2017 International Press Freedom award to Nasser, who has been living in exile in Sweden, where she holds citizenship.

She cited U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order banning entry to people from a group of countries that included Yemen.

The administration says the ban is needed to protect national security, while federal judges have blocked it from taking effect.

Nasser had written on her blog Friday, "The proposed travel ban has gone through various iterations, but what I know for sure is that my visa applications to the U.S. embassy in Stockholm were rejected because of it," she wrote.

Nasser's case gained media attention, something she noted Monday after successfully getting the visa.

"Makes me think of people who do not enjoy my high media profile," she said. "This is why, we need to get the tragedy in Yemen, as well-known as hell so we can all help pushing an end for it!"

Nasser is scheduled to receive the award at the New York-based CPJ's ceremony on November 15th. She applied for asylum in Sweden in 2011 after receiving death threats in connection with her blogs and stories critical of the regime in Yemen. She has continued to report on the war from Stockholm for the past six years, according to the CPJ.