Pregnant Kiwi Stranded in Afghanistan Can Return Home

    Photo: AP [via the Guardian]

    The Facts

    • A pregnant reporter from New Zealand who had to request help from the Taliban after being unable to return to NZ due to COVID rules has now been granted a place in the country's border quarantine system.

    • Unmarried Charlotte Bellis discovered her pregnancy in Sep. while working in Qatar, where extramarital sex is illegal.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    It's disturbingly irornic that a regime known for repression of women's rights offered more support to Bellis than her own native country, which is too bogged down by draconian rules to safeguard its citizens.

    Narrative B

    New Zealand is taking necessary precautions to avoid an Omicron outbreak. Bellis wasn't denied reentry; her flights simply weren't within the time requirement. She was invited to reapply later, bring her flights forward or submit a separate application reserved for at-risk citizens.

    Narrative C

    New Zealand has only taken interest in Bellis' case to avoid bad PR. There are thousands of desperate New Zealanders trying to get home; the decision on who gets to isn't made fairly or ethically, and pits the vulnerable against each other.

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