Award-winning Kashmiri photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo on Tuesday said she was stopped from traveling from the Delhi airport to New York to receive the 2022 Pulitzer Prize.
Sanna said that she was stopped from flying to the United States by immigration officials despite having a valid visa and ticket.
“I was on my way to receive the Pulitzer award (@Pulitzerprizes) in New York but I was stopped at immigration at Delhi airport and barred from traveling internationally despite holding a valid US visa and ticket,” tweeted Sanna.
Sanna had won the Pulitzer Prize in feature photography for coverage of the coronavirus crisis in India along with Reuters photographers Adnan Abidi, Amit Dave, and the late Danish Siddiqui.
This is the second time she has been barred from flying. In July, Sanna Irshad Mattoo was stopped by immigration authorities while trying to fly from Delhi to Paris despite holding a valid French visa.
“This is the second time I have been stopped without reason or cause. Despite reaching out to several officials after what happened a few months ago but I never received any response. Being able to attend the award ceremony was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,” said Sanna.
Several Kashmiri journalists have been stopped from leaving India without a reason. In July this year, another Kashmiri journalist, Aakash Hassan was also barred from boarding his flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka.
In 2019, another senior Kashmiri journalist Gowhar Geelani was stopped at the Delhi airport from traveling to a journalists’ conference in Germany and was allegedly told that no explanation could be provided to him for the ban.