Pregnant NZ journalist Charlotte Bellis finally secures a spot in MIQ
Pregnant NZ journalist Charlotte Bellis from Christchurch who got stranded in Afghanistan due to NZ not giving an MIQ spot for her has finally secured an MIQ spot after international media attention.
What no one has known, until now, is that I conceived a little girl a week after that press conference. For years I had been told by doctors I would never have children. I threw myself into my career and made my peace with it. Now, during the fall of Kabul, a miracle.
Due to Islamic law, Bellis had to kept her pregnancy secret as it is illegal for a woman to be pregnant outside of marriage in Islamic law:
I asked the doctor, hypothetically, if I was pregnant, would you tell the police. She said "I won't, but I can't treat you and I can only say you need to get married or get out of the country as soon as possible."
However, to Ms. Bellis surprise, Taliban offered a safe-heaven for her instead of NZ government:
I organised a meeting with senior Taliban contacts, "you know how I am dating Jim from The New York Times, but we're not married, right?" "Yes, yes we respect you both and you are foreigners, that is up to you." I nervously continued. "Well, I am pregnant and I can't get back into New Zealand. If I come to Kabul, will we have a problem?" One translated for the other and they smiled. "No we're happy for you, you can come and you won't have a problem. Just tell people you're married and if it escalates, call us. Don't worry. Everything will be fine."
When the Taliban offers you - a pregnant, unmarried woman - safe haven, you know your situation is messed up.
After Ms. Bellis story got much attention in International media, NZ government swiftly responded and given her an MIQ spot.
When media asked the government to respond to situation, as usual nobody took responsibility on the matter:
Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins responds:
A senior National Party MP contacted me on Wednesday with information about this case and the circumstances about their declined application, which appeared at first sight to warrant further explanation.
My office passed this information onto officials to check whether the proper process was followed.
I'm unable to provide any further comment on MIQ at this stage as a court case against MIQ is being prepared and expected to be heard soon."
It's all because the NZ government has best interest of people well-being and their health folks. Nothing to see here..