Kashmiri Photojournalist Who Won Pulitzer For COVID-19 Coverage Stopped From Travelling To US

A trip that could have been a memorable one for multiple reasons for Sanna Irshad Mattoo did not turn out how she had hoped it to be. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Kashmiri photojournalist took to her social media account to share her story. 


Greater Kashmir

Sana asserts that immigration officials at the Delhi airport barred her from traveling to the United States “despite having a valid visa and ticket.”

On Monday, a flight to New York was scheduled for the 28-year-old photojournalist, who received the Pulitzer Prize for Reuters’ coverage of the COVID pandemic.

“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,” Mattoo tweeted on Tuesday.

She said this was the second time she had been stopped from traveling abroad in the past four months.

“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, I never received any response. Being able to attend the award ceremony was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,” she added.

Sana’s story left people disheartened. The internet was equally heartbroken by Sana’s tale. 

In appreciation of her coverage of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in India, Sanna received the Pulitzer Prize in the category of Feature Photography on April 9.

Reuters/Sanna Irshad Mattoo
Reuters/Sanna Irshad Mattoo

She received the honor along with Danish Siddiqui, Adnan Abidi, and Amit Dave.

Sanna, a Reuters reporter, is one of several journalists from Kashmir. They appear to be on a “no-fly list” that has reportedly been created by the intelligence services in Jammu and Kashmir to prevent them from leaving the country. 

Sana is the first Kashmiri woman to win the Pulitzer Prize.

(With agency inputs)

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