March 3, 2015
The sentencing of prominent Afghan photographer Najibullah Musafir to six months in jail has journalists and journalism institutions calling on Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah to review and reassess the case.
Musafir was sentenced to jail for six months by a Kabul court for an advertisement company using a photo taken by him in their commercial ads. The photo was taken six years ago during a special event organized by the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Kabul. The case surfaced as one of the females in the picture lodged a complaint against the photographer for selling their picture without their permission.
In response to the case, Abdullah has ordered a reassessment of the case following a series of reactions from people inside and outside of the country.
"The nature of the case indicates that a mistake has been committed by someone else and another person is paying the price," Abdullah said. "Therefore, I want the case to be assessed thoroughly so that an innocent being isn't imprisoned."
Initially the court asked Musafir to pay a fine of 10,000 AFS and the case would be closed. But six years later, the courts of Kabul issued a jail time for the photographer, who was not present in court.
"According to the laws of Afghanistan, the defendants must appear in court with their lawyer," head of NAI Mujib Khelwatgar said. "If the defendant and his lawyer are not present, then the ruling has no legal justification."
The Afghan photographer is known as Ustad Musafir, who is famous for his unique pictures that have been displayed at major exhibitions.
The Supreme Court did not respond to this report. TOLOnews