Tracking reports of Kashmiri journalist being prevented from travelling to US: State Dept

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The United States is aware of reports of Pulitzer-winning Kashmiri journalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo being prevented from travelling to the country, a State Department official has said. Mattoo had on Tuesday said she was stopped at the Indra Gandhi International Airport in Delhi from flying to the US to receive the prestigious award.

“We are aware of the reports of Ms Mattoo being prevented from travelling to the US and are tracking these developments closely,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters at his daily news conference. “We are committed to supporting press freedom. And as the secretary has noted, a shared commitment to democratic values, including the respect for the independence of the press, is a bedrock of the US-India relationship,” he said.

“But I don’t have any other specifics to offer… we are tracking this closely,” Patel said in response to a question. Mattoo, a freelance photojournalist, was part of a Reuters team that won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for their coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

In a statement, the Committee to Protect Journalists urged Indian officials to let Mattoo travel to the US to attend the Pulitzer awards ceremony.—KMS

 

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