June 4, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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Pulitzer Prize-winning Kashmiri photojournalist blocked by India from leaving the country

Pulitzer Prize-winning Kashmiri photojournalist Sana Irshad Mattoo has condemned the Indian authorities for not allowing him to leave the country for France to participate in a book launch and photo exhibition.

As the journalist himself explained on Twitter, the photographer denounced him for not being allowed to board the flight at Delhi International Airport this Saturday with no explanation other than that he could not travel abroad.

“I was scheduled to fly from Delhi to Paris today for a book launch and photo exhibition as one of the ten winners of the 2020 Serendipity Arles Award,” he explained.

“Despite having a French visa, I was stopped at the immigration desk at the Delhi airport. I was given no reason other than that I could not travel abroad,” he said.

Officials have not clarified the case at this time, but sources in the Jammu and Kashmir state police have indicated that Mattoo is on the list of journalists who cannot travel abroad.

Another Kashmiri journalist, Gauhar Gilani, was barred from traveling to Germany in September 2019 after being barred by immigration officials at the Delhi airport, and last year authorities in Jammu and Kashmir barred journalist and academic Zahid Rafiq from attending classes in the US. A university.

Matteo, 28, works as a cameraman at Reuters news agency and won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for his photography on the second wave of coronavirus infections in India.

Pakistan and India have disputed the historically important region of Kashmir since 1947 and have fought two of the three wars they have fought since gaining independence from the United Kingdom. There was a brief but serious military conflict between the two nuclear powers in 1999 and a tenuous ceasefire has been maintained since 2003.

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Tensions have increased recently due to heavy repression by Indian security forces and the suspension of the autonomy of the Jammu and Kashmir region since August 2019.