Nai’s findings from monitoring of media and journalists’ performances during election days indicate that reporters suffered serious problems in accessing to information during election coverage.
A number of journalists in Balkh complained regarding lack of cooperation of Election Commission’s officials with them.
Mirwais Bizhan, reporter of VOA says: “Saturday I and a number of journalists contacted provincial commission many times, head or secretary of provincial commission were attending the calls, saying they will talk with journalists later and after those calls reaching them was a problem. Questions such as ; lack of voting papers, bio-metric devices’ problems and people’s disappointment due to their names’ misplacement were remained unanswered.
Habib Najafizada, reporter of 24 TV said to Nai’s Media Watch: “Through repeated calls I couldn’t find myself able to interview provincial election commission’s officials in Balkh, we are not aware either election process has been finished in Balkh or yet it is continued for tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Wahid Orya, reporter of Salam Watandar in Balkh discussed regarding the same problems and said he faced lack of access to information and could get any information from election’s officials in Balkh.
Moreover, a number of journalists in Balkh talked about their humiliation by election commission’s workers at the polling stations in Mazar-e-Sharif city. Syed Samim Sadaat, reporter of Afghan Voice News Agency in Balkh said: “I went to Bakhtar High School to produce report on election process; at first I wasn’t allowed to film and minutes later a female who claimed of being responsible for the complaints, came to me and roughly asked me why do I film and cover the process? Though I showed her the card which was provided by election commission to media but she said that they weren’t aware of it that journalists cover election process, so I was not allowed to continue.”
Furthermore, Abdul Salaam Jawad, manager of Resallat Radio in Kohishtan district of Kapisa province said to Nai’s Media Watch; after the strain which occurred in election site, Abdul Fatah Fayez, their reporter captured the scene, so he was beaten up by one of the candidates in Kapisa province and later on he was taken by them.
Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan asks Independent Election Commission at first to give their clarification on these claims and then strictly take action against election commission’s officials who misbehave to journalists and didn’t allow covering voting process.