India stops Kashmiri photojournalist from flying to Paris

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NEW DELHI (AP) — A Pulitzer Prize-winning Kashmiri photojournalist said on Saturday that she was stopped by Indian immigration authorities from flying to Paris without giving any reason.

In a tweet, Sanna Irshad Mattoo said she was scheduled to travel from New Delhi to Paris for a book launch and photography exhibition as one of 10 winners of the Serendipity Arles Grant 2020.

"Despite procuring a French visa, I was stopped at the immigration desk at Delhi airport,” she said.

She said she was not given any reason but was told by immigration officials that she would not be able to travel internationally.

There was no immediate comment by Indian authorities.

Mattoo was among the 2022 Pulitzer Prize winners in the Feature Photography category for the coverage of the COVID-19 crisis in India as part of a Reuters team.

She has been working as a freelance photojournalist since 2018 depicting life in Indian-controlled Kashmir, where insurgents have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence or its merger with neighboring Pakistan.

Journalists have long braved threats in the restive region as the government seeks to control the press more effectively to censure independent reporting. Their situation has grown worse since India revoked the region’s semi-autonomy in 2019.