Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Joya's struggle continues

The Inter-Parliamentary Union was formed in 1889 and recently held its 118th assembly. There, the governing council passed a resolution concerning Malalai Joya, Afghanistan's suspended parliamentarian currently seeking her reinstatement.

(April 18, 2008)
The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Having before it the case of Ms. Malalai Joya of Afghanistan, which has been the subject of a study and report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians...

Ms. Joya, who is a staunch critic of the former warlords, a defender of human rights and a powerful voice for Afghan women, said in a television interview that: "They are criminals and worse than the animals in a stable or zoo; at least an animal like a cow is useful in that it provides milk and a donkey can carry a load. Or even an animal like a dog which is the most loyal animal.",

Considering that, according to the sources, members of parliament have regularly criticized one another, but that no one else had been suspended on such grounds, even when Ms. Joya was called a "prostitute" or "whore" by fellow parliamentarians; the parliamentary authorities insist that the decision against Ms. Joya, which was not made by the Administrative Board but taken by the majority of the members of the House of the People in open session, was not in connection with her criticism but because her words were an affront to parliament and the entire nation...

Considering further that Ms. Joya has been continuously threatened owing to her outspoken stance, has survived four assassination attempts and never spends two nights in the same place...
  • Is deeply concerned that Ms. Joya was suspended on account of outspoken remarks she made about the functioning of the Parliament of Afghanistan and about some of her fellow parliamentarians
  • ... is concerned in this respect that no time limit was set for the suspension, which has been in effect for almost a year, and that, contrary to the old and new Standing Orders of Parliament, the Administrative Board appears to have been in no way involved in the decision to suspend Ms. Joya; is also concerned at the discrepancy that while the remarks made by Ms. Joya have led to a serious punishment, her treatment by some fellow parliamentarians that she has publicly denounced has reportedly not drawn any response from Parliament;
  • Notes that a petition challenging the suspension has been filed in the Supreme Court; trusts that the Court will decide on the matter without delay...
  • Is alarmed at the persistent death threats against Ms. Joya and the absence of any security detail offered by the authorities... (link)


  • See here for Joya's recent film festival award in Berlin and her article on Canada's Afghanistan policy where she says:
    As long as [Canada] follow this wrong policy, the situation in Afghanistan will become more disastrous... [O]ur people are now saying, if you do not support or help us, it would be better that you leave Afghanistan...

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