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Archive for May 2008

Malalai Joya, an Afghan woman

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A frame from Enemies of Happiness, a film that follows the campaign of an Afghan woman, Malalai Joya – then 28 year-old – as she was running in the country’s first democratic parliamentary elections in 35 years. The first clip shows Malalai Joya addressing the Loya Jirqa (Constitutional Assembly), calling for the prosecution of warlords present at the meeting and being instantly expelled from the Assembly (image left). She was elected from Farah province and on May 21, 2007, the lower house of the Afghan parliament, the Wolesi Jirga, voted to suspend her. She was accused of insulting the parliament and suspended until the end of her term in 2009. Since her suspension, she has continued to criticize warlords in the Afghan parliament despite the concerns for her safety. Human Rights Watch said, on May 21, 2008, that the Afghan parliament should reinstate her and noted that members of parliament have regularly criticized each other, but no one else has been suspended. Here the Human Rights Watch video interview with Malalai Joya. Moreover, Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said that “Afghanistan is requesting billions of dollars in assistance from donors next month and presenting itself as an emerging democracy (…) If Malalai Joya remains suspended for exercising her right to free expression and has to keep moving around because of threats for which the government does nothing, what does this say about the state of human rights and democracy?”

Written by pipistro

May 27, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Posted in Afghanistan

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