Kiwi journalist gets refuge in Afghanistan after NZ denied MIQ spot

She once questioned Taliban about women rights in Afghanistan under their rule

Wellington: New Zealand journalist Charlotte Bellis who is known for asking bold questions to the Taliban in their first official press conference has been offered refuge in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Bellis who used to work with Al Jazeera in Qatar had resigned from the job after she discovered that she is pregnant. As she is unmarried and extramarital sex is illegal in Qatar, she decided to return to New Zealand.

However, she could not return to her home country after her application for emergency allocation of Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) spot was rejected. Ultimately, the journalist was left with no option but to seek help from the Taliban as she and her partner, freelance photographer Jim Huylebroek, had visas to live in Afghanistan.

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In New Zealand, it is mandatory for every citizen to spend 10 days in MIQ centers that are being run by the nation’s military. However, as thousands of people are waiting for their return to the country, it has become difficult to get the spot immediately.

When Bellis contacted senior Taliban, she got a positive response. She was offered refuge in Afghanistan despite the fact that the journalist is unmarried and pregnant which is illegal in the Taliban-ruled country. Currently, she is in Afghanistan.

In the column published in The New Zealand Herald, the journalist who once covered American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and questioned the Taliban about their treatment of women under their rule is now asking the same question to her own government.

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