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AFP, April 5, 2008

Afghan woman MP challenges parliament expulsion

"The parliament's move was not only against freedom of speech and democratic values but it was fully against the constitution," she said

KABUL — An Afghan woman MP controversially expelled from parliament a year ago for causing "insult" to fellow lawmakers said Saturday she had filed a petition for reinstatement.

Malalai Joya
Malalai Joya in a press conference in Kabul.

The war-torn nation's legislature, dominated by former anti-Soviet Islamic warlords, kicked out Malalai Joya after she described fellow MPs as "worse than donkeys and cows" in a television interview last May.

"The parliament's move was not only against freedom of speech and democratic values but it was fully against the constitution," she said, adding that she will fight her way back to the house through legal action.

"It has been two months now that I have filed a petition over my expulsion from the parliament," Joya told reporters in Kabul. "My case is proceeding in courts," she added.

Joya, 29, has attracted attention for her uncompromising-stand against warlords involved in the nation's bloody past conflicts who are now dominating the parliament in which she had a seat.

Despite occasional warnings from the strongmen, she has been seeking action against war criminals.

Her sacking touched off a storm of protest across the country, with supporters seeking immediate reinstatement of the 29-year-old public representative. A number activists and writers living in countries whose governments are at war in Afghanistan and back the Hamid Karzai administration also voiced support to the fired parliamentarian.
PAN, April 5, 2008

She repeated her statement, saying; "The comments I had made were even an insult to animals," she said, referring to her May 2007 interview on Tolo TV after which she was expelled from the legislature.

To a question about why she did not appeal against her expulsion earlier, Joya said: "I had two reasons, one it was for security reasons and second I didn't have enough money to hire a lawyer," she added.

Mohammad Zaman Azhar, Joya's lawyer told the same press conference that he would lead her case and was optimistic of victory.

Her expulsion is against the constitution," Azhar added.

Category: Warlords, Women, Protest - Views: 13391


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