Pulitzer-winner and Kashmiri photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo was stopped from travelling to the United States. Earlier this year, she was stopped from travelling to France, where she was to attend a book launch and photography exhibition.
Mattoo took to social media and shared that she was on her stopped on her way to receive the Pulitzer award in New York. She wrote, “I was stopped at immigration at Delhi airport and barred from travelling internationally despite holding a valid US visa and ticket”.
Sanna Irshad Mattoo Barred From Travelling
She added that the incident marked the second time she was “stopped without reason or cause”. In June, she was stopped from travelling to France. Despite reaching out to several officials, Mattoo did not receive any response.
Mattoo added that attending the award ceremony was a "once in a lifetime opportunity".
The photojournalist was scheduled to fly to New York on Monday.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that the Indian authorities should allow the Kashmiri journalist should be allowed to travel abroad freely and collect her Pulitzer Prize. CPJ’s Asia program coordinator Beh Lih Yi said, “Indian authorities must immediately cease all forms of harassment and intimidation against journalists covering the situation in Kashmir”.
Since August 2019 when the Indian government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special autonomy status. The journalists from Kashmir told CPJ that they were being barred from travelling abroad.
Mattoo hails from the Srinagar district of Jammu and Kashmir, the 28-year-old works as a photojournalist for the international wire agency Reuters. Mattoo and three other Reuters photographers won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in feature photography. The late Danish Siddiqui was one of the photojournalists from Reuters to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Photojournalists Amit Dave and Adnan Abidi were also awarded for their coverage of the COVID-19 crisis.
The photojournalists won the award for their coverage of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
Mattoo studied journalism from Central University of Kashmir.