Charlotte Bellis, of Al Jazeera English, a reporter covering political and military movements in Afghanistan, has been denied re-entry into her home country of New Zealand due to strict quarantine protocols. With nowhere else to go due to her visa restrictions, she was forced to contact the Taliban, who she said was more than welcome to have her. This ironic situation comes after Bellis had questioned the Taliban and its leaders about human rights and women’s rights within the country.

While working in Afghanistan, she found out that she was pregnant upon reporting to Al Jazeera English’s headquarters in Doha, Qatar. However, it is widely known that it is illegal for women to be pregnant and unmarried in the Islamic country. More so, Qatar’s laws forbid unmarried couples to be living with each other under one roof, and family visas are not issued to those who cannot present a marriage certificate. Thus, Bellis kept her pregnancy a secret as she could have been apprehended or subjected to other punishment if the Qatar authorities were to find out.

This put Charlotte Bellis and her boyfriend, Kim Huylebroek, a photographer based in Afghanistan, in a sticky situation where they could return to New Zealand, move to Belgium (Huylebroek’s home country), or go back to Afghanistan.

Of the three options, the most sensical was to apply for an emergency trip back to her home country. However, with New Zealand’s closed borders, she had to apply for an emergency return with over 59 documents required to do so – only for the New Zealand government to reject her application. Bellis claims that her application was first denied because of a 14-day technicality requirement afterward. The reason for the rejection was that she allegedly did not meet the threshold for medical staff.