The following news report has been reprinted from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
OUTSPOKEN AFGHAN LAWMAKER PHYSICALLY, VERBALLY ABUSED BY HER
COLLEAGUES... Malalai Joya, a member of People's Council (Wolesi
Jirga) in the Afghan National Assembly representing the western Farah
Province, was pelted with empty water bottles by other female
representatives while male colleagues made death threats against her
during a legislative session on May 7, AP reported. The melee began
after Joya accused some former Afghan mujahedin of mass murder.
Referring to the resistance groups who first fought against the
Soviet troops and the communist regime in Afghanistan and later
turned their guns on their rivals, Joya said that there were "two
kinds of mujahedin in Afghanistan: One kind fought for independence,
which I respect, but the other kind destroyed the country." A number
of liberal lawmakers circled Joya in order to protect her from their
conservative colleagues. Shukria Barakzai, a female legislator from
Kabul, said the reaction to Joya's comments "creates concern for the
future of parliament." "They may kill me, they may slash by neck.
[But] I will never stop my words against the criminals, against the
drug dealers," Joya was quoted as saying by AP. Joya gained
international attention when she criticized the participation of
mujahedin leaders in the Constitutional Loya Jirga of 2003, and again
when the parliament was inaugurated in December (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," December 18, 2003, and December 20, 2005). AT