A Pulitzer-winning photojournalist from Jammu and Kashmir has tweeted she was stopped in Delhi from boarding a flight to Paris to attend an event.
The photojournalist, Sanna Irshad Mattoo, tweeted a photo of her boarding pass and passport that have “cancelled without prejudice” stamped on them in red ink. She said she was not told by the authorities why they did not let her fly to France.
“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,” Ms Mattoo tweeted.
“I was not given any reason but told I would not be able to travel internationally,” she tweeted.
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. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/OoEdBBWNw6
— Sanna Irshad Mattoo (@mattoosanna) July 2, 2022
A look-out circular by the Jammu and Kashmir Police is active against Ms Mattoo and that’s why she was stopped from going abroad, people with direct knowledge of the matter told NDTV. A lookout circular is an alert issued by law enforcement agencies to airport and seaport authorities to stop a person from leaving the country.
A journalists’ collective in Jammu and Kashmir condemned the centre’s move to stop the Pulitzer-winner from going abroad. “Several have been hounded in the name of the so-called ‘travel restriction list,’ existence of which has never been confirmed nor denied officially,” the Journalist Federation of Kashmir tweeted.
“Journalists in Kashmir have always worked under perilous conditions, holding up values of press freedom in the face of dangers to life and liberty…We protest the harassment of Ms Mattoo and stand in solidarity with her,” it said.
Ms Mattoo and three other Indian photojournalists were awarded the Pulitzer Prize, considered to be the highest honour in global journalism, in May for their coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The others are Adnan Abidi, Amit Dave and Danish Siddiqui, who died in Afghanistan while covering the US exit and the subsequent battles between the Taliban and Aghan national forces. It was Danish Siddiqui’s second Pulitzer Prize, awarded posthumously.