Tolo News, August 8, 2020
Protesters at Jirga Claim Mistreatment
The delegates are focused on both the release of the prisoners and consultations with Afghanistan’s negotiation team about the coming intra-Afghan talks
By Zahra Rahimi
Some delegates of the Loya Jirga, the grand assembly, who said they were faced with “violent” treatment during the last two days of the event, on Sunday called for the incidents to be addressed.
MP Belqis Roshan was dragged out of the venue after she protested the release of Taliban prisoners during President Ghani’s opening speech. They blamed the organizers of the Jirga for silencing voices of protest during the event.
Two incidents that were filmed or photographed by some delegates happened on the first day of the Jirga.
In the first incident, MP Belqis Roshan was dragged out of the venue after she protested the release of Taliban prisoners during President Ghani’s opening speech. Another incident also happened during Ghani’s speech when an activist from Nangarhar, Ghorzang Siyal, raised his voice on a national issue.
The delegates are focused on both the release of the prisoners and consultations with Afghanistan’s negotiation team about the coming intra-Afghan talks.
According to a letter handed to all the Jirga delegates, in the first topic, they have been given two options: the talks might begin if they agree on the release of the prisoners, or violence might continue if the prisoners are not released. The 50 committees have been discussing this for the last two days, according to Jirga officials.
Belqis Roshan, the MP, claimed that the woman who attacked her during her protest was Shakiba Safi, an employee of the State Ministry for Peace Affairs.
“She is the employee of the State Ministry for peace. Her name is 'Fighter Mashal' or Shakiba,” she said.
Photos of Ghorzang, the activist from Nangarhar, show that he had been allegedly forced to leave the event after he started his protest.
“Those who treated me with this insult, I thought at first that they were the Jirga delegates because they had a certain outfit but when we went out, but I talked to PPS (presidential guards) and I realized that they were NDS officials,” said Ghorzang, recalling the event.
In another incident that happened on Saturday, woman delegate Asila Wardak was disrupted during her speech by another delegate who criticized some Jirga members who supported Belqis Roshan’s stance.
“My speech was not ended when a number of brothers came to the podium and wanted to beat me up,” Wardak said.
“Beating anyone, whether it is woman or man, or an MP or a farmer of this country or a disabled person, is unacceptable under any circumstances,” said Abdullah Abdullah, the chair of the Jirga, responding to the events.
The Jirga organizing commission said they have not been able to identify those who “mistreated” the Jirga delegates.
“The secretariat (of the Jirga) has been assigned to find the individuals,” said Ali Kazimi, a spokesman of the Jirga.
The State Ministry for Peace Affairs did not comment on Belqis’s claim.
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