On Monday 11th, June 2018, a number of local journalists in Qandahar province reported that they were invited for coverage of president Ghani’s speech seven hours before his arrival but when Mr. Ghani arrived his press group and special security forces didn’t allow journalists to cover his speech, to film and to take photo.

Local journalists in Qandahar called it disrespect and humiliation to journalistic community and asked for repentance. In response to protest by journalists in Qandahar, presidential office had said: “The trustee of Holy Cloak excused for any type of filming”.

But journalists in the province said that before this there wasn’t any prohibition for capturing photographs of Holy Cloak.

Holy Cloak or Khirqa-e-Mubarak is the cloth that is believed to be of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.

Photographs of president’s speech at Holy Cloak which were released indicate that there wasn’t any prohibition to president’s camerapersons and this point is in opposition with what presidential office said based on no allowance by the trustee of Holy Cloak.

Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan believes that based on law neither any person nor any entity has the right to prevent journalists and media from photography and filming unless by law.

Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, Managing Director of Nai said: “No entity has the right to prevent access to information, including the filming of media and journalists. If the trustee of Holy Cloak was unaware of access to information law and citizen’s right of access to information but president and his press group most probably were aware and should not have allowed that illegal deed.”

Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan asks presidential office to clarify the case and should apologize Qandahar journalists for the humiliation.