Education International
Education International

Afghanistan: EI protests against the suspension of MP Malalai Joya

published 3 August 2007 updated 3 August 2007

EI joins the Australian Education Union in voicing its concern about the suspension of Afghan MP, Malalai Joya from the parliament on 21 May.

Malalai Joya, is also a member of the Wolesi Jirga, an ardent defender of human and women's rights and an outstanding example of resistance to fundamentalism. It is therefore most concerned that an elected member of the parliament, one who is known throughout the world for her support of Afghan people against the actions of warlords, drug barons and criminals, should be suspended. Ms Joya has spoken out publicly against the influence of warlords in Afghanistan's parliament, and demanded independent trials of those committing war crimes. It is regrettable to learn that she should lose her voice, her security and her freedom in this manner. "Her suspension from the parliament, the Interior Ministry's directive to restrict her movements within the country and the potential High Court case against her, are a denial of both her freedom and of basic justice, both of which must be guaranteed in a democratic society. Ms Joya's ability to fulfill her elected duties is thus being infringed, to the detriment of democracy in Afghanistan," wrote EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen in his letter to the Afghan President Hamid Karzai. EI urges the Afghan government to rescind the parliamentary resolution which expelled Malalai Joya from the assembly, as well as her security and freedoms, including freedom of speech, the foundation of any representative democracy.