New Zealand bans entry: Pregnant New Zealander stranded by Taliban

New Zealand bans entry: Pregnant New Zealander stranded by Taliban

New Zealand refused entry
A pregnant New Zealand woman stranded by the Taliban

Last summer, New Zealand journalist Charlotte Bellis traveled to Afghanistan to report on the Taliban’s seizure of power. When she finds out that she is pregnant, she wants to return to her homeland to give birth. But New Zealand rejects them — and becomes “brutally cynical,” Bellis wrote.

The Taliban in Afghanistan offered help to a pregnant New Zealand journalist after New Zealand refused her entry. This was mentioned by Charlotte Bellis in an article for “New Zealand Herald”. Bellis spoke of the Taliban’s takeover of Al Jazeera in the summer and attracted international attention when she questioned Taliban leaders about their treatment of women and children.

In September, she wrote in her article, she found out in Qatar that she was pregnant, although doctors told her that she would not be able to conceive. However, when she wanted to return to her homeland a little later, she was not granted an entry permit. New Zealand has a strict policy on the Covid virus, with strict entry rules and quarantine rules leaving thousands of citizens stranded abroad.

According to Bliss, she first moved to Belgium, the home of her partner, who works as a photographer for the New York Times. However, as a New Zealander, she was not allowed to stay there for long. In her ordeal, Bliss said, she then turned to the Taliban. Unlike the New Zealand government, radical Islamists offered her help, although she was not married. The Taliban told her, “Just tell me you’re married.” “If there is a problem, let us know. We are happy for you.”

“I was shocked”

She writes, Bellis is now stuck in Afghanistan. Just a few days ago, she received an email from the New Zealand authorities that she could not enter New Zealand – having previously submitted 59 documents. “I was shocked,” said the journalist. “What more can I do?”

Especially given the health situation, she is now afraid of giving birth to her baby, which is scheduled for May. Because of the catastrophic humanitarian situation, many hospitals in Afghanistan lack even the most basic of resources. Only in October, while continuing to write for the New Zealand Herald, Bellis reported on a women’s ward in Kabul where caesarean sections could not be performed and the only medication was paracetamol wrapped in newspaper.

In her article, Bellis described it as a “brutal irony” that the Taliban of all people promised her help: “When the Taliban – a pregnant and unmarried woman – promises you a safe haven, you know your situation is difficult.”

The New Zealand government now appears to want to examine the issue, Minister Chris Hepkins announced in the New Zealand Herald. So far, New Zealand has successfully contained Covid-19. It has a population of five million who are so far 52 people have died from or with Covid.

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