Pregnant journalist gets help from Taliban after New Zealand denies request to return due to COVID rules

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A pregnant journalist from New Zealand is stuck in Afghanistan after her home country denied her request to return citing COVID restrictions.

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Charlotte Bellis joined “America’s Newsroom” to discuss her journey to return home and how she is seeking refuge with the Taliban since she claims she didn’t meet the medical threshold to return to New Zealand. 

“They rejected us,” Bellis told co-host Dana Perino. “They said, frankly, you’re outside some kind of 14-day arbitrary window that we have, but even if you were inside it, you haven’t met the threshold for needing medical treatment.”

“You haven’t proven that you couldn’t get similar treatment in Afghanistan, which we were dumbfounded,” she continued. 

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Bellis said she left Qatar after she found out she was pregnant since it is illegal to be pregnant unmarried in the country. 

She and her partner originally went to his home country of Belgium, but knew they would need to depart since she needed to have a tourist visa to stay. 

Shortly after, Bellis applied for her “emergency allocation” request to return home to New Zealand but was denied.  

Bellis and her partner have work visas for Afghanistan, so she decided to explore the possibility of going there. 

“I contacted some Taliban people that I trusted and had known for a while and said, what do you think? Is this going to be a problem? Because I’m going to come and there’s going to be a bump and people will know,” Bellis explained.

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She said they welcomed her, congratulated her, and told her to contact them if she encountered any issues during her stay. 

Perino congratulated her on the wonderful news, since she claimed it was a miracle she conceived. 

“I was covering Afghanistan, I was here during the fall,” Bellis said. “I asked the Taliban actually at the time, What are you going to do to ensure the rights of women and girls? And then a week later, I conceived a little girl against all odds.”

Bellis said she is still determined to return home before giving birth to her baby girl. 

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