October 9, 2007

Malalai Joya, MP, Afghanistan

Malalai Joya, MP, Afghanistan

Excerpted from Update: Women's Action 21.5:

Malalai Joya entered Afghanistan’s new Parliament in September 2005 pledging to “protect the rights of the oppressed and safeguard women’s rights.” ...

On 21 May 2007 Malalai was suspended from Parliament for an interview she gave to a private Afghan television station in which she lamented that the Afghan Parliament was worse than a stable of animals. She was suspended under Article 70 of the Rules of Procedures of the Wolesi Jirga. These rules were undergoing revision at the time and had not yet been approved by Parliament ...

Malalai has been continually threatened and abused both within parliament and outside. She has recounted Members of Parliament calling her a “prostitute” or “whore.” On 7 May 2006 Member of Parliament Almas Khan spoke about the anniversary and achievements of the day that freedom fighters (Mujahidin) seized power from the Afghan communist regime, which was followed by civil war among various groups. Malalai on this occasion was given the opportunity to speak. She commented on Mr. Almas’ claim that the atrocities committed during this time were mistakes, condemning them instead as criminal acts. Her speech resulted in members of parliament hurling water bottles at her and it has been widely reported that some parliamentarians called for her to be raped and killed. According to another Member of Parliament, it was also reported that Rasul Sayyaf, a former warlord who has himself been accused by human rights organizations of war crimes, ordered someone to wait by the door and stab Malalai as she walked out. Malalai was protected by other Members of Parliament who formed a human ring around her and enlisted the protection of security forces ...

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 recognizes the critical role of women in promoting peace and security and calls for increased representation of women in decision-making. Malalai Joya was duly elected to Parliament and has been consistently and courageously speaking out for human rights, recognizing that respect for human rights is fundamental to peace and security. Her suspension undermines democracy in Afghanistan and is a violation of her rights, as well as the rights of those she represents.

For more on this, and what you can do to help, please visit Equality Now.

[Alert via private email. Thanks, divs.]

  1. Thanks for sharing. There are few people who act in support of such people before they either become martyrs or win the Nobel Peace Prize.

    I've sent an email, but doubt if it'll mean anything.

  2. In some ways, the Afghans, the Pakistanis and the Indians are kindred spirits, united by irrationality, collectivism and God-worship.


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