India stops Kashmir photojournalist from flying to Paris

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NEW DELHI – A Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist from Kashmir said on Saturday that she was stopped by Indian immigration authorities from flying to Paris for no reason.

In a tweet, Sanna Irshad Mattoo said she would travel from New Delhi to Paris for a book launch and a photography exhibition as one of the 10 winners of the 2020 Serendipity Arles Grant.

“Despite getting a French visa, I was stopped at the immigration desk at Delhi airport,” she said.

She said she had not been given a reason but was told by immigration officials that she would not be able to travel internationally.

There was no immediate comment from the Indian authorities.

Mattoo was one of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize 2022 in the Feature Photography category for reporting on India’s COVID-19 crisis as part of a Reuters team.

She has been working as a freelance photojournalist since 2018, portraying life in Indian-controlled Kashmir, where insurgents have fought for Kashmir’s independence or its merger with neighboring Pakistan.

Journalists have long defied threats in the troubled region as the government seeks to control the press more effectively to frown upon independent reporting. Their situation has worsened since India revoked the region’s semi-autonomy in 2019.

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