SRINAGAR- Pulitzer Prize-winning Kashmiri photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo on Saturday said she was stopped by immigration authorities while trying to fly from Delhi to Paris despite holding a valid.
In a tweet, Mattoo said she was scheduled to be in France for a book launch and photography exhibition.
“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,” she said in a tweet.
“I was not give(n) any reason but told I would not be able to travel abroad.”
Mattoo, a freelance photographer, was among the winners of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. She shared the award with the Reuters team, including the late Danish Siddiqui, Amit Dave and Adnan Abidi, for their coverage of the second wave of Covid in India.
The Journalist Federation of Kashmir (JFK) condemned the “arbitrary international travel restriction” on Sanna.
It said the right to travel abroad is part of the fundamental right to dignity and personal liberty.
“In recent years, journalists in Kashmir have reported extreme surveillance, summoning, detentions and arbitrary international travel restrictions. 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 JFK statement said.
“Journalists in Kashmir have always worked under perilous conditions, holding up values of press freedom in the face of dangers to life and liberty. A vibrant media is vital for a democracy to flourish and for that press freedom is of the utmost importance,” it said.
“We protest the harassment of Ms. Mattoo and stand in solidarity with her.”