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30 Jan 2022 08:19:20 UTC
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Asking the Taliban for refuge! after being rejected by home country
Asking the Taliban for refuge! after being rejected by home country

After her own government warned her she couldn't return because of COVID-19 limits, a New Zealand reporter who found herself pregnant and unmarried while working for Al Jazeera in Qatar said that she had to appeal to the Taliban for help.

Charlotte Bellis made headlines in August when she questioned the Taliban's leaders, "What will you do to preserve the rights of women and girls? " at the radical group's first press conference after taking power in Afghanistan.

Now, she's back in the news after becoming embroiled in an unforeseen situation, which she revealed in a shocking opinion article published in the New Zealand Herald on Friday.

Bellis learned she was pregnant from her partner, Jim Huylebroek, a photojournalist who writes for the New York Times and was also in Kabul, when she returned to Qatar's capital, Doha, where Al Jazeera is situated, in September.

It was a major surprise because doctors had always said she couldn't have children, but it also meant the reporter couldn't stay in Qatar any longer because being pregnant and unmarried was against the law in that Muslim country.

Bellis left Al Jazeera with the intention of giving birth in New Zealand in May, which had closed its borders to the rest of the world during the pandemic but planned to reopen them to residents in February.

The pair traveled to Belgium, Huylebroek's homeland, to wait for regular flights to New Zealand to become available. Because the reporter's nationality meant she couldn't stay in the EU for long, she tried unsuccessfully to secure a position in a Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facility in New Zealand.

When the authorities in Wellington postponed the reopening of the crossings due to the development of the Omicron strain, Bellis was left with only one option: fly to Kabul.

Huylebroek and she both had permits that permitted them to stay in Afghanistan.

According to the reporter, she convened a meeting with senior Taliban connections to inquire if it would be "a problem" if she traveled to the Afghan capital with her lover, despite the fact that she was pregnant and they were not married.

"No, we're happy for you, you can come and you won't have a problem,", a Taliban official responded, according to Bellis.

Just tell people you're married, and if it escalates, call us. Don't worry. Everything will be fine.

The reporter is now in Kabul, but she does not want to give birth in Afghanistan because of the country's unstable circumstances and substandard healthcare.

"Becoming pregnant can be a death sentence" in Afghanistan, she pointed out, with the UN anticipating an additional 50,000 Afghan women to die in delivery by 2025.

However, Bellis' emergency MIQ spot application was reje
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drvfwT9UXV0
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