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Pulitzer Winning Kashmiri Photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo 'Stopped From Flying' To Paris


The authorities allegedly did not cite any reason for not allowing her to leave the country.

New Delhi: Pulitzer Prize winning Kashmiri photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo was reportedly stopped from flying to Paris from Delhi on Saturday. Taking to her Twitter account, Sanna said that the immigration authorities at the Delhi airport stopped her from flying abroad although she had a valid French visa. She further said the authorities allegedly did not cite any reason for not allowing her to leave the country.

“I was scheduled to travel from Delhi to Paris today for a book launch and photography exhibition as one of 10 award winners of the Serendipity Arles grant 2020. Despite procuring a French visa, I was stopped at the immigration desk at Delhi airport,” Sanna tweeted.

She added, “I was not given any reason but told I would not be able to travel internationally.”

However, there has been no official statement on the incident yet.

Sanna, a freelance photographer, won the Pulitzer Prize in May 2022, in the Feature Photography category for her work published by Reuters. She shared the award with the Reuters team, including late Danish Siddiqui, Amit Dave and Adnan Abidi, for their coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic in India.

Sanna holds Master’s degree in Convergent Journalism from the Central University of Kashmir and her work has been published in several outlets across the world. In 2021, she was also awarded a fellowship at the prestigious Magnum Foundation.

Notably, this is not the first time that a Kashmiri journalist has been stopped from leaving the country without any prior intimation.

In September 2019, soon after the Union government read down Article 370, journalist-author Gowhar Gelani was stopped from travelling to Bonn at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. When Geelani asked an immigration officer to show a written order seeking to stop him from flying abroad, he was allegedly told that no explanation could be provided to him.

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