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Afghanistan, pregnant reporter Charlotte Bellis will be able to return to New Zealand: the government has accepted her request

The New Zealand journalist Charlotte Bellis, got stuck in Afghanistan pregnant, will be able to return to New Zeland. She announced it herself in a note, after the change of position by the New Zealand government which, initially, had rejected her request for an “emergency” return, given that the woman discovered she was expecting a baby girl. The reporter, together with her partner Jim Huylebroek, had sent to the New Zealand authorities 59 questions to get a go-ahead, without getting an answer. Finding difficulties due to Wellington’s strict anti-Covid-19 measures, she then turned to the Taliban.

Today, however, it was she herself who announced that she will return to New Zealand a March, together with his partner Jim Huylebroek, freelance photographer with whom he has lived for the past two years in Afghanistan. The journalist is internationally known for being among the first to interview the Taliban leaders after they took office by asking them to account for policies aimed at girls and women.

Charlotte Bellis had returned, after the Christmas holidays, to the headquarters of the station al-Jazeera for which he worked at Doha and only there did she discover she was expecting a baby. The news had frightened the reporter and her partner because in Qatar is illegal to have children out of wedlock and Bellis and Huylebroek are not married. Thus began the search for another country to go to, after resigning from pan-Arab TV. But while in Belgium, State of origin of the partner, could not stay long since the woman is a non-EU citizen and is not a resident, her country of origin, New Zealand, had denied her entry due to restrictive anti-Covid regulations that would have forced her, among other things, to spend a period of quarantine in full pregnancy in the hotels run by the military. Thus, the only valid visa in the hands of the two was that for Afghanistan and, asking for help from the Taliban leaders, he had obtained permission to remain in the country.

“I will return to my home country in early March to give birth to ours girlBellis said in a statement. “We are so excited to come home and be surrounded by family and friends at such a special time,” he added, also referring to his partner.

New Zealand has backtracked from initial statements: the New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson he had asked the reporter to submit a new application for a place in the quarantine hotels. Robertson then specified that the availability that is offered to Charlotte Bellis today is not the effect of the international attention that has attracted her story, but the normal procedure that provides for the protocol for emergency returns home. “We always try to get in touch with people and make the agreements work so that those who request it for emergency reasons can return,” he explained. At this time Wellington allows entry to citizens and permanent residents, but only if they spend 10 days in solitary confinement in quarantine hotels.

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