BLACKLIST

BLACKLIST

Journalists, scholars and activists who have been 'blacklisted' and denied entrance to countries or areas in Southasia.

Southasian governments regularly misuse their discretionary visa allotment powers to keep out those they consider ‘undesirable’ – such as critical journalists, scholars, and activists. This practice is more widespread than is recognised, even in countries with a liberal image, as individual cases fall through the cracks and disappear. With our ‘Blacklist’, we endeavour to collate, track, expose and challenge this process. We see this as a collaborative effort; contact us whenever and wherever you come across any such instances. You can send the information anonymously, but it must be corroborated in some way.

Name
Country and date of visa denial
Explanation
[NEW]

India denies visa extension to three Chinese journalists associated with state-run Xinhua news agency

 India July 2016 Xinhua’s Delhi bureau chief Wu Qiang, Mumbai bureau chief Lu Tang and Mumbai-based correspondent, She Yonggang, have been asked to leave India by 31 July. The move was reportedly taken following “concerns” expressed by intelligence agencies.

(Sources: The Wire.

 

Team from United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

India
March 2016
India denied visas for a delegation from the US government agency charged with monitoring international religious freedom. USCIRF had been able to travel to many countries, including those among the worst offenders of religious freedom, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, China, and Myanmar.

(Sources: The New York Times, The Guardian)

 

Christine Mehta
Researcher with Amnesty International India

India
22 November 2014
She had been doing research on the abuses committed under the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir. Her Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Card was revoked and she was given a ‘Leave India Notice’.

(Sources: The Hindu)

 

Aaron Gray-Block
Activist with Greenpeace

India

6 June 2015

Not allowed to enter the country despite having a valid visa and the relevant documents. He was later put on a flight back to Kuala Lumpur, but not officially deported.
Priya Pillai
Activist with Greenpeace India
India

11 January 2015

Stopped at Indira Gandhi International Airport from boarding a flight to London and told that her name was on a  list of people prepared by the government who cannot be allowed to travel abroad. She was scheduled to address British MPs on a proposed coal mining project in Mahan, Madhya Pradesh.

(Sources: The Hindu, DNA)

Matthew Rosenberg (The New York Times) Afghanistan

20 August 2014

Given 24 hours to leave the country for “pretending to have quoted Afghan authorities”.

[Note: Rosenberg’s expulsion order has now been reversed and the new Afghan president has publicly promised to allow him to return and resume his work.]

(Sources: Foreign Policy, The Guardian)

Aileen Bacalso (General Secretary of Asian
Federation Against
Involuntary
Disappearances (AFAD))
India

17 August 2014

Deported and told she should know why.

(Sources: The Hindu, AFAD)

 Maxine Lange
Student, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
India

July 2014

Denied visa to do internship with South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC). RTI application has been filed since no official reason was given.

(Source: Ravi Nair, Executive Director, SAHRDC)

Anastasia Gorodilova
Student, Brown University, USA
India
June 2014
Denied visa to do internship with South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC). RTI application has been filed since no official reason was given.
(Source: Ravi Nair, Executive Director, SAHRDC)
Maria Petrova
Student, Queen Mary University of London, UK UK
India

June 2014

Denied visa to do internship with South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC). RTI application has been filed since no official reason was given.

(Source: Ravi Nair, Executive Director, SAHRDC)

Penny Vera-Sanso (Senior lecturer, Birkbeck College, University of London) India

8 June 2014

Refused entry by immigration officials without an explanation.

(Sources: The Hindu, Rediff)

Meena Menon (The Hindu) Pakistan

13 May 2014

Given a week to leave the country. No reason was given.

(Sources: The Hindu, The Guardian, CPJ)

Snehesh Alex Philip (Press Trust of India) Pakistan

13 May 2014

Given a week to leave the country. No reason was given.

(Sources: The Hindu, The Guardian, CPJ)

Declan Walsh (The New York Times) Pakistan

2 May 2014

Given 72 hours to leave the country on the eve of Pakistani elections for conducting “undesirable activities”.

(Sources: Huffington Post, New York Times)

Willem Marx (Bloomberg TV) Pakistan

February 2014

Author of then recently released book Balochistan: At a Crossroads, Marx was told by the Pakistani consular staff in New York that he was not welcome in the country, and that “it was the agencies” – a term referring to the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.

(Sources: International Business Times, CPJ)

Jagmeet Singh (Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) of Ontario) India

8 December 2013

Denied entry citing that “The government of India, like any other government, has a sovereign right to grant or refuse a visa to any foreign individual and it is not obliged to give any justification or explanation for exercising this prerogative.”

(Sources: The Global Mail, Times of India)

Kirity Roy (Chief of Indian rights organisation Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM)) Bangladesh

19 September 2013

Denied visa because of “[failure] to fulfill required criteria.”

(Sources: The Daily Star, Dhaka Mirror)

Malay Sengupta (Laywer) Bangladesh

19 September 2013

Denied visa because of “[failure] to fulfill required criteria.”

(Sources: Dhaka Tribune, Daily Star)

Anita Joshua (The Hindu) Pakistan

1 June 2013

Denied renewal of visa because the “tenure [was] over”. (Sources: Hindustan Times)
 

Razaul Hasan Laskar (Press Trust of India)

Pakistan

1 June 2013

Denied renewal of visa because he spent seven years in Pakistan instead of the usual three.

(Sources: India Today, CPJ)

Roger Bilham (Senior geophysicist at University of Colorado) India

December 2012

Denied entry because his ‘activity’ under tourist visa was “not commensurate with the type of visa granted”.
An expert on seismology, Earlier that year, Bilham had addressed a press conference by Greenpeace on the potential seismic risk to the proposed nuclear power plant complex at Jaitapur, Maharashtra.
(Sources: The Hindu, Economic Times)
Carol Crayson (Journalist) Pakistan

October 2012

Denied visa because the “country’s policy strictly prohibits the movement of foreigners in Tribal Areas and PTI cannot guarantee the security of those who it wants to take along.”

(Sources: Awaz Today, The Nation)

Yacine Helali (Journalist) Pakistan

1 October 2012

Denied visa because “country’s policy strictly prohibits the movement of foreigners in Tribal Areas and PTI cannot guarantee the security of those who it wants to take along.”

(Sources: Awaz Today, The Nation)

Maya Kobayashi (Nuclear activist and Fukushima survivor, invited by Greenpeace India) India

3 March 2012

Denied entry to India after visa cancellation. Was told: “Your application for Business Visa does not match with the stated purpose of your proposed visit and is tantamount to factual misrepresentation.”

(Sources: The Hindu, Daily Mail)

Tom Heinemann (Danish Broadcasting Corporation)  

India

January 2012

Visa application denied because “The stated purpose when DR journalists applied for a visa the last time was to make a documentary, but they ended up producing a reality show based on India. The series depicted all sorts of things, including life in our slums.”

(Sources: Asian Correspondent, CPJ, Daily Mail)

Lotte La Cour (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) India

January 2012

Visa application denied because “The stated purpose when DR journalists applied for a visa the last time was to make a documentary, but they ended up producing a reality show based on India. The series depicted all sorts of things, including life in our slums.”

(Sources: Asian Correspondent, CPJ, Daily Mail)

David Barsamian (Founder of Alternative Radio) India

23 September 2011

Deported. No official reason has been given.

(Sources: The Hindu)

Richard Shapiro (Professor of Anthropology at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS)) India

1 August 2010

Denied entry because of political activism in the state while on a tourist visa.

(Sources: Indian Express, Kashmir Process)