Sanna Irshad Mattoo, the 2022 Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist, was banned from flying to France on Saturday. He was scheduled to attend the Arles International Photography Festival, which opened on Monday in the south of France.
Photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo was scheduled to travel to Paris on Saturday to attend a book launch and an award-winning photo exhibition for the Rencontres d’Arles festival, which opens on July 4th. But once at the New Delhi airport, security forces prevented him from getting up without explanation.
Sanna Irshad Matto won the Pulitzer Prize in May 2022 for her coverage of Kovid-19 with Danish Siddiqui, another Indian photojournalist killed in Afghanistan in July 2021.
The journalist tweeted immediately after the incident. “As one of the 10 award winners of the Serendipity Earls Grant 2020, I was scheduled to travel from Delhi to Paris today for a book launch and photography exhibition. Despite collecting a French visa, I was stopped at the immigration desk at Delhi Airport,” he wrote.
I was scheduled to travel from Delhi to Paris today for a book launch and photography exhibition as one of the 10 award winners of the Serendipity Arles Grant 2020. Despite collecting a French visa, I was stopped at the immigration desk at Delhi Airport. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/OoEdBBWNw6
– Sanna Irshad Mattu (tomattoosanna) July 2, 2022
“I was not given any reason but was told that I could not travel internationally,” the journalist added in a second tweet.
Reporting in Kashmir
For the international news agency Reuters, Sanna Irshad has documented the daily lives of Mattoo residents and the religious and military tensions in Kashmir, the disputed area of India where she lives.
It has become extremely difficult to report since the Narendra Modi government revoked the independence of Muslim-majority Kashmir.
According to multiple sources, Sanna Irshad Mattoo is on the list of journalists who are no longer allowed to travel abroad. The Union of Indian Journalists has condemned the arrest and called on the government to investigate the list.