Pregnant New Zealand journalist Charlotte Bellis offered place in quarantine

The New Zealand reporter said she was stranded in Afghanistan and forced to turn to the Taliban for help after requests to return home were rejected

A pregnant New Zealand journalist who was stranded in Afghanistan after failing to secure a spot in her own country’s strict quarantine system has now been offered a place, the government has confirmed.

The deputy prime minister Grant Robertson said the ministry for business, innovation and employment, which manages the quarantine system known as MIQ, has offered Charlotte Bellis an MIQ voucher.

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Bellis discovered she was pregnant a short time after gaining international attention in 2021 for questioning Taliban leaders about their treatment of women and girls. She is due to give birth in May.

She resigned from Al Jazeera in November and had no choice but to leave Qatar, where she was usually based, because sex outside marriage is illegal.

She and her partner, Jim Huylebroek, then moved to his native Belgium. In a column published in the New Zealand Herald on Saturday, Bellis wrote that she was unable to stay in Belgium because she was not a resident. She said the only other place the couple had visas to live was Afghanistan, where they are now located.

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