Kashmiri photojournalist Sanna Irshad barred from travelling abroad by authorities

A photograph of the Boarding Pass shared by the journalist on Twitter.

New Delhi: Kashmiri photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo who recently won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize award, on Saturday said that authorities at the Delhi airport denied her permission to travel abroad for a scheduled photography exhibition in Paris.

In a tweet, Mattoo, said, “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.”

“I was not given any reason but told I would not be able to travel internationally,” the journalist added.

As per the journalist, she has not been given any reason as to why the journalist was not allowed to board the international flight.

Pertinently, in May this year, Mattoo won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize award in the Feature Photography 2022 category for the coverage of COVID crisis in India.

Mattoo and her colleagues Adnan Abidi, Danish Siddiqui and Amit Dave from the Reuters news agency won the award, announced on May 9, 2022, for “images of Covid’s toll in India that balanced intimacy and devastation, while offering viewers a heightened sense of place”, according to The Pulitzer Prizes website.

Danish Siddiqui was killed in Afghanistan last year while covering the Taliban takeover of the country.

Last year, three Kashmiri photojournalists Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan, and Channi Anand won the prestigious Pulitzer.

The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine, online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States.

It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer, who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and is administered by Columbia University.

Earlier on March 29, Journalist Rana Ayyub was stopped at Mumbai airport from boarding a flight to London. She was stopped from travelling abroad because the Enforcement Directorate has issued a lookout notice for her.

Ayyub had told reporters that she had an event on April 1 with some of the top jurors, editors and diplomats in London. On the same day, she was to speak at The Guardian’s office at the invitation of the newspaper’s editor Katharine Viner. Then on April 6 and 7, she was to be in Italy to attend an event called the International Journalism Festival.

“I had tweeted about all the events three weeks in advance,” Ayyub was quoted by as saying.

“My flight was at 3 pm today [Tuesday]. The immigration people were confused. An hour after back and forth, the ED told the immigration to tell me that they are sending me a summons to appear on April 1. The summons was received by me today on mail around 2 pm, exactly an hour before departure,” she added.

However, on April 4, 2022, the Delhi High Court permitted her to travel abroad. The court also questioned the Enforcement Directorate (ED) over a Look Out Circular (LOC) issued against her barring her from travelling abroad.


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