27/02/2017 06:49 GMT | Updated 27/02/2017 07:12 GMT

OSCARS 2017: Iranian Winner Asghar Farhadi Boycotts Ceremony, Citing Donald Trump's 'Inhumane Visa Ban'

His absence was very noticeable.

There were many political statements throughout one of the most expressive Oscars ceremonies in memory - not least the host Jimmy Kimmel tweeting Donald Trump live on air - but the strongest was arguably made by one winner who stayed away. 

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi collected his second gong, for ‘The Salesman’, but boycotted the ceremony in respect for others who couldn’t travel to the US since Trump enforced his visa ban on certain countries. 

Mr Farhadi forwarded a statement that was read out at the ceremony, which said:

“It’s a great honour to be receiving this valuable award for the second time. I would like to thank the members of the Academy, my crew in Iran... I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight, my absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US.

Kevin Winter via Getty Images
Anousheh Ansari read out a statement on behalf of the absent Asghar Farhadi at the Oscars, following his winning the Best Foreign Film Award

“Dividing the world into ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves been victims of aggression.

“Filmmakers can turn their cameras to shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various national and religions. They create empathy between us and others, an empathy we need today more than ever. Thankyou.” 

It was a politically-charged night in general, with several stars, both recipients and presenters, lining up to make their feelings known about the American president and his policies. 

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