Linked with Malalai Joya – Afghanistan, March 24th, 2006.
Published on Countercurrents.org, by Zia -Ur-Rehman, 10 June, 2007.
The most outspoken female MP of Afghanistan, Malalai Joya, has been expelled from parliament for speaking truth and her straightforwardness. The removal of this outspoken feminist demonstrates the hollowness of the claims of women’s advancement under the occupation by Karzai’s government. Wolisi Jirga (National Assembly) voted to suspend Malalai Joya, one outspoken women among the 68 women legislators, for three years from the legislature, citing that she had broken Article 70 of the Parliament, which had banned Wolesi Jirga members from openly criticizing each other. Joya had compared the Wolesi Jirga to a “worsen than a zoo” on a recent television interview, and later called other members of parliament “criminals” and “drug smugglers”. She was a relentless critic of the warlords and assorted war criminals in the Karzai’s government.
This was not the first time that 28-year-old Ms Joya, a passionate advocate and campaigner of women’s rights, has angered male MPs with her criticisms. Some have thrown water bottles at her while she spoke in debates and others have threatened her with rape and murder, denounced as a “prostitute”— all of this taking place in parliament, no less. She has also escaped from assassination attempts and has to regularly change her address after receiving death threats from the warlords and Taliban groups both. (full text).