Nice democracy we set up in Afghanistan, don’t ya’ think?
An outspoken female legislator was physically and verbally attacked by her colleagues after saying on the parliament floor that some of Afghanistan’s mujahedeen leaders were criminals who shouldn’t now be lawmakers, officials said Monday.
Malalai Joya, who apparently was unhurt, said several female lawmakers hit her with empty plastic water bottles and male lawmakers made death threats and lobbed insults at her after her speech on Sunday.
Moderate lawmakers in the 249-member lower house formed a circle around Joya to protect her, she and other lawmakers said.
”I said there are two kinds of mujahedeen in Afghanistan. One kind fought for independence, which I respect, but the other kind destroyed the country and killed 60,000 people,” Joya told The Associated Press.
Shukari Barikzai, another female lawmaker, said Joya’s speech accusing some lawmakers of being warlords was calm and dispassionate, but she was attacked anyway.
Joya, who represents Afghanistan’s western Farah province, has spoken out against warlords and drug lords before. One of the first times was during Afghanistan’s first loya jirga, a council of leaders that helped establish the interim government in 2002 after the U.S.-led invasion to oust the Taliban in 2001.
In December, during Afghanistan’s first full session of parliament, Joya called for all of Afghanistan’s human rights abusers and ”criminal warlords” to be brought to justice. Delegates responded by pounding their fists on the tables to demand she sit down. But she refused, shouting that she had a right as an elected official to speak her mind.
And what does President Unocal have to say about this?
The spokesman for President Hamid Karzai, Karim Rahimi, tried to stay out of the fray.
”The lawmakers are the representatives of the Afghan people. We are sure they will solve their own difficulties,” he said, refusing further comment.