IGNORED: Sanna Irshad Mattoo has been ignored for the Pulitzer award because of a Muslim bias?
By Wire Staff
The committee which awards the International Pulitzer prize for journalism and photography is reportedly biased against well-known Urdu writer Mattoo.
This repression is in line with a crackdown by Indian authorities on journalists and civil society in Kashmir,’ the Human Rights Watch has said.
The co-chair of the 2022 cycle of the Pulitzer Prizes John Daniszewski noted in his speech at the award ceremony at New York on October 20 that Kashmiri award-winner Sanna Irshad Mattoo’s exclusion from the event was “highly discriminatory”.
The photo journalist has alleged that she was stopped from travelling out of the country to collect her Pulitzer prize at New Delhi’s IGI Airport on October 18 in spite of having a visa and a ticket. This is the second time Mattoo has been stopped thus. Earlier this year, she was stopped from travelling to France to accept a grant she had received.
Global and national rights and journalists’ bodies including the Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Press Club of India have severely condemned the move to stop Mattoo from travelling outside India. Most have shed light on the particular treatment meted out to journalists from Kashmir. The US State Department said in an answer to reporters’ questions that it was “aware of reports” of Mattoo having been stopped.
Daniszewski’s comments on Mattoo’s absence on Pulitzer night was tweeted by the official handle of the prizes.
“This is petty, highly discriminatory […] and emblematic of the challenges journalists face around the world,” he said, according to the tweet.
The prize awarded to Mattoo was one she won as part of the Reuters team, for its coverage of India’s struggle with COVID-19. Amit Dave, Adnan Abidi and the late Danish Siddiqui are in the team. Siddiqui’s two children accepted the award on his behalf.
Daniszewski had separately retweeted Mattoo’s original tweet noting that she had been stopped at the airport from his personal handle.
Authorities have given no official explanation for why Mattoo has been barred from traveling abroad – but this repression is in line with a crackdown by Indian authorities on journalists and civil society in Kashmir,” the Human Rights Watch has noted.
The HRW has also tweeted that since August 2019, “at least 35 journalists in Kashmir have faced police interrogation, raids, threats, physical assault, restrictions on freedom of movement, or fabricated criminal cases for their reporting.”
In 2022, India ranked 150th out of 180 countries in the Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders. This is the India’s lowest ever rank on this index.
Courtesy: the wire