Kashmir News Trust #KNT
The Indian Journalists Union has expressed serious concern over Kashmiri photojournalist with Reuters and Pulitzer Prize winner Sanna Irshad Mattoo being stopped at Delhi’s IGI Airport on Tuesday from flying to the US to attend the award ceremony.
The IJU said the arbitrary action is malafide and misuse of authority and worse it’s the second time she has been stopped from travelling abroad.
On Tuesday Sanna tweeted: “I was on my way to receive the Pulitzer award 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. 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.” she added.
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. pic.twitter.com/btGPiLlasK
— Sanna Irshad Mattoo (@mattoosanna) October 18, 2022
In a statement, IJU President and former Member of Press Council of India Geetartha Pathak and Secretary General and Vice President of International Federation of Journalists Sabina Inderjit said that not only is this yet another case of harassment of journalists in Kashmir but reveals that the claim of Union Home Ministry and local administration that the situation is improving is far from reality. The Union had condemned the action of IGI authorities in June last, when Sanna was stopped from traveling to France, to attend a book launch and photography exhibition. She is among three other Reuters photographers which won the award in feature photography for their coverage of the second wave of the pandemic in the country.
The IJU said that the Press Council of India must take suo moto cognizance of the case as this amounts to harassment and intimidation of not just a journalist but shall have a chilling effect on the media in Kashmir. The authorities must be questioned as to why Sanna was stopped from traveling and stopped from taking such actions, which go against the basic tenets of a democratic society. (KNT)