(ANSA) – ROME, Jan 30 – The Taliban have welcomed a pregnant New Zealand journalist to Kabul after her country did not authorize her to return from Qatar due to anti-Covid regulations.
Charlotte Bellis, that’s the name of the reporter who told her “brutal irony” story for the New Zealand Herald, in August, she worked in Afghanistan for Al Jazeera with her partner, Belgian photographer Jim Hoellebrooke. She returned to headquarters in Doha in September when she realized she was pregnant. With child waiting without marriage being illegal in Qatar, the journalist decided to return to New Zealand but the strict anti-Covid regulations imposed in her country prevented her from entering. At that point, she and her partner moved to Belgium but did not have a residence permit, and were unable to stay. The only other country for which the couple obtained a visa was Afghanistan, so Charlotte decided to turn to her contacts between senior Taliban officials. They told her “we are happy for you, you can stay here, you will not have any problem”, adding that they say they are married but if it turns out not so, “call them”. They reassured her, “Everything will be fine.”
Bellis, who is expected to give birth to a baby girl in May, has not yet been able to return to New Zealand, but said telling her story has speeded up the admissions process. New Zealand’s Minister of Emergencies Chris Hepkins has requested a review of his condition. (Dealing).
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