Najibullah Musafir, a renowned Afghan photojournalist, who was sentenced to six months imprisonment, was pardoned by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani by virtue of a presidential decree and will be released soon.
The Afghan photojournalist, Najibullah Musafir’s case falls eight years back when he took pictures of female basketball players in the Ghazi Stadium of Kabul. He sold two of those photos to an advertisement company called Honar-e-Haftom. The mentioned company manipulated the photos by placing the logo of Etisalat Telecom on them and then published the photos. Consequently, the families of the girls in the photo filed a complaint. Although the plaintiffs acquitted Mr. Musafir on 17/02/2008, the lawsuit was revisited after several years by the judiciary which led to Mr. Musafir’s convection and six month imprisonment.
This act of the judicial bodies provoked strong reactions by journalists and the journalists’ rights advocates. They called on the leaders of the national unity government to issue an order for Mr. Musafir’s case to be reconsidered. Finally, CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah ordered critical investigation and President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani pardoned Mr. Musafir by virtue of a presidential decree today.
Mr. Musafir’s son Qais Najib says he received the decree from the Office of Administrative affairs of the Council of Ministers today and is hopeful that his Dad will be released soon.
AJSC appreciates the action taken in this regard by the national unity government especially President Ghani, and hopes that they will continue to fulfill their promises in other cases concerning freedom of speech and press freedom and continue to pay attention to media and journalists’ issues.