Afghanistan: UN Stresses Right Of Free Expression After Journalist’s Sentencing
Taking note of the sentencing of an Afghan journalist to two years in prison for publishing an article considered
offensive to Islam, the United Nations mission in the country said today the right to freedom of expression applies to
everyone, including journalists, and should be strongly defended.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which is closely following the case of Ali Mohaqiq Nasab, noted that
the Media Monitoring Commission, as opposed to the court, found that he had not committed blasphemy and recommended his
release from detention, spokesman Adrian Edwards told a news briefing in Kabul, the Afghan capital.
UNAMA understands that Mr. Nasab has the right to appeal his conviction under Afghan law on grounds relating to the
substance of the case, as well as on procedural grounds if he considers that due process has not been observed. The
mission considers the widespread attention given to this case in local media is an encouraging sign, Mr. Edwards said.
“UNAMA believes the right to freedom of expression, enshrined in the Constitution of Afghanistan as well as the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, applies to everyone, including journalists, and should be strongly defended,” he