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Why is the U.S. afraid of Malalai Joya?

Khury Petersen-Smith writes about Malalai Joya and her struggle to speak out.

Khury Petersen-Smith, Socialist Worker, March 24, 2011

Malalai Joya visiting an all-girls school in Farah Province, Afghanistan

WOMEN'S RIGHTS activist and former member of Afghanistan's parliament Malalai Joya is fearless. She has stopped at nothing to raise her voice against the dual enemies of freedom and women's equality in her country: the misogyny of Afghan warlords and the brutal U.S./NATO occupation.

She has been suspended from the Afghan parliament after using her position there to campaign for women's rights. Joya's life is threatened because of her work, and she has survived five assassination attempts.

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Afghan activist denied U.S. visa

"She is a truth-teller," said Ralph Lopez, 41, co-founder of the non-profit Afghanistan Peace Plan, at a rally in Harvard Square Wednesday.

UPI, March 24, 2011

Malalai Joya

BOSTON -- An Afghan activist critical of the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan has been denied a visa to visit the United States for a speaking tour, officials said.

Malalai Joya, 32, had been scheduled to speak at Harvard University and elsewhere as part of a three-week tour to promote her memoir, "A Woman Among Warlords," The Boston Globe reported Thursday.

The rejection of her visa application has sparked anger and protests in the United States.

"She is a truth-teller," said Ralph Lopez, 41, co-founder of the non-profit Afghanistan Peace Plan, at a rally in Harvard Square Wednesday. "That's why the Obama administration doesn't want her to come here."

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تقاضای بازنگری صدور ویزه به ملالی جویا

اتحادیۀ آزادی مدنی امریکاییان از جملۀ سه ارگانی است که خواهان بازنگری روی صدور ویزه به این فعال امور زنان افغانستان شده است

قدیر مشرف-واشنگتن، صدای امریکا، ٢٤ مارچ ٢٠١١

ملالی جویا در جریان کنفرانس مطبوعاتی در کابل
ملالی جویا درپی انتقاد شدید در جلسه اولین ولسی جرگه افغانستان با الفاظی تند شماری از اعضای ولسی جرگه را مورد انتقاد قرار دارد.

اتحادیۀ آزادی مدنی امریکاییان، مرکز پِن امریکن و اتحادیۀ استادان پوهنتون های امریکایی بر هیلری کلنتن، وزیر خارجۀ ایالات متحده و جنیت ناپولیتانو، وزیر امور امنیت داخلی ایالات متحده طی نامۀ مشترک تاکید ورزیده اند تا درمورد تصمیم صدور ویزه امریکا به ملالی جویا بازنگری صورت گیرد.

ملالی جویا، عضو سابق پارلمان افغانستان، نویسنده و فعال حقوق بشر است که به علت عدم صدور ویزه به وی از سوی سفارت امریکا در کابل نتوانست سفر سه هفته یی خود را به آن کشور انجام دهد.

ادامه مطلب


US Government Embarrassed by Afghan Woman Again

Malalai Joya supporters think an American book tour by a widely known and highly vocal activist against not only the war, but the U.S. government's handling of the situation in Afghanistan, is the real reason her visa has been denied.

By Shirin Sadeghi, The Huffington Post, March 23, 2011

Malalai Joya was 26 when she became the youngest woman ever elected as a member of parliament in Afghanistan. Today, she is the country's most famous woman -- a political activist who was just denied a visa for a book tour to the United States because she is "unemployed" and "lives underground," according to what she was told by the U.S. embassy officer who stamped the denial.

Her supporters in the United States have announced today as a Call-In Day -- a grassroots effort to flood Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's telephone with calls demanding that Joya be given the visa for which she has applied.

Having successfully applied for a U.S. visa four times before, this time it is not about Joya, but about the war in Afghanistan.

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Why Can't This Afghan Activist Get a U.S. Visa?

Given the fresh controversy, Joya's supporters argue that her visa denial is no accident.

By Jason Motlagh, TIME, March 22, 2011

Prominent Afghan women's rights activist Malalai Joya in Kabul, August 2007
Prominent Afghan women's rights activist Malalai Joya in Kabul, August 2007 (Tom Stoddart / Getty Images)

It appears that Afghan warlords and religious fundamentalists are not the only ones who don't want Malalai Joya in the public eye. The outspoken women's rights activist and fierce critic of the war in Afghanistan has been denied a travel visa on the eve of a three-week U.S. speaking tour. According to Joya, the reasons given by an embassy officer — that she is "unemployed" and "lives underground" — make no sense, since she's been the target of five assassination attempts that have forced her to live in hiding for several years with a team of armed bodyguards. U.S. officials are fully aware of that fact, she notes, and have never rejected her applications in the past. So why now?

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Free Speech Groups Ask Secretaries Clinton And Napolitano To Review Denial Of Visa To Prominent Afghan Human Rights Activist

Joya was denied a visa to visit the United States for a three-week speaking tour relating to the paperback edition of her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords.

The American Civil Liberties Union, March 21, 2011

CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union, American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and PEN American Center today sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressing concern over the denial of a visa to Afghan politician, writer and human rights activist Malalai Joya.

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Thousands support Malalai Joya's right to travel to the U.S.

There will be a rally on Wednesday at Harvard University, where Joya and Noam Chomsky are due to speak at a forum on 'The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan'

Derrick O'Keefe, Rabble.ca, March 21, 2011

Malalai Joya's book updated edition

In just a few days, over 2500 people have signed an online petition to protest the denial of a U.S. travel visa to Afghan women's rights activist and author Malalai Joya, who was to make a three-week U.S. tour to promote the updated edition of A Woman Among Warlords.

On Sunday, Joya addressed the closing plenary of the Left Forum in New York City via Skype, opening her remarks by saying, "Now the U.S. government tries to stop me from entering, but they can never block my voice from reaching the great and peace-loving people in the United States." 

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ایالات متحده امریکا از صدور ویزا برای ملالی جویا، نویسنده و فعال حقوق زنان افغانستان خودداری کرد

کتاب خاطرات جویا به دوازده زبان دنیا ترجمه شده است و او گردش های گسترده ای برای معرفی کتاب خود داشته

زنان و قوانین در جوامع مسلمان، ۲۰ مارچ ۲۰۱۱

Book in Persian on Malalai Joya

ماموریت زنان افغان: ایالات متحده امریکا از صدور ویزا برای ملالی جویا از فعالان سرشناس حقوق زنان افغان و نماینده سابق مجلس افغانستان خودداری کرد.

ملالی جویا که در فهرست صد نفره مجله تایم به عنوان تاثیرگذارترین افراد در سال ۲۰۱۰ معرفی شده است قصد داشت سفری سه هفته ای در امریکا برای معرفی کتاب خود با نام “زنی در میان جنگ سالاران” که خاطرات اوست، آغاز کند.

ادامه مطلب


Afghan women’s rights hero is latest victim of ideological exclusion

I understand why Afghan rulers – both Taliban and Karzai government leaders -- are afraid of Malalai Joya

Carol Rose, The Boston Globe Blog, March 20, 2011

Malalai Joya is a 32-year-old Afghan woman named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Foreign Policy Magazine listed her on its annual list of Top 100 Global Thinkers, and last week The Guardian listed her among the "Top 100 women: activists and campaigners" in the world.

So why is the U.S. State Department refusing to let Ms. Joya visit our country?

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US Blocks Visit from Malalai Joya

Her calls for NATO troops to withdraw from Afghanistan have made 32-year-old Ms Joya a controversial figure outside her country

Glyn Strong, UK Progressive Magazine, March 19, 2011

Malalai Joya at London’s Frontline Club with Sue Turton
Malalai Joya at London’s Frontline Club with Sue Turton in 2008 (Photo by Glyn Strong)

Just nine days after International Women’s Day internationally acclaimed Afghan human rights activist Malalai Joya has been refused entry to the United States – allegedly because she is ‘unemployed and living underground’.

Joya – an author, former member of the Afghan parliament and one of TIME magazine’s ‘100 most influential people in the world in 2010’ – was due to begin a three week book tour to promote an updated version of her memoir ‘A Woman Among Warlords’ on 20th March.

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دولت امریکا از دادن ویزه به ملالی جویا ابا ورزید

ملالی جویا قرار بود به خاطر یک سفر سه هفته‌ای جهت معرفی کتابش، که چاپ دومش با مقدمه‌ای در مورد دولت اوباما تازه منتشر شده، به آن کشور سفر کند

رادیو آزادی، ١٨ مارچ ۲۰۱۱


US Government Denies Entry Visa to Afghan Women’s Rights Activist and Author Malalai Joya

Organizers of her speaking tour are encouraging people to contact the Department of State to ask them to fulfill the promise from the Obama Administration of “promoting the global marketplace of ideas” and grant Joya’s visa immediately.

Common Dreams, March 17, 2011

Malalai Joya's book updated edition

NATIONWIDE - March 17 - The United States has denied a travel visa to Malalai Joya, an acclaimed women’s rights activist and former member of Afghanistan’s parliament. Ms. Joya, who was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2010, was set to begin a three-week US tour to promote an updated edition of her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

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Malalai Joya and Noam Chomsky: The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Joint presentation of Malalai Joya and Noam Chomsky at Harvard University

United for Justice with Peace, March 8, 2011

Malalai Joya tour 2011

Please join us during Joya's rare visit to the U.S., as she is joined by world-renowned linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky, internationally recognized as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today.

When: Friday, March 25, 2011, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Harvard University, Radcliffe Quadrangle • 59 Shepard St. (corner of Garden) • Student Organization Center at Hilles (SOCH) Building • Cambridge

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Malalai Joya among "Top 100 women: activists and campaigners"

Malalai Joya: Afghan politician and human rights campaigner who has shown phenomenal courage

Emine Saner, The Guardian, March 8, 2011

To watch a 2003 video of Malalai Joya, then in her early 20s, making a speech is to witness phenomenal courage and the power of speaking out. Joya, now 32, was an elected delegate to the Loya Jirga (an assembly to debate the proposed Afghan constitution) when she stood up and publicly criticised the room full of men. "Why would you allow criminals to be present? Warlords responsible for our country's situation . . . The most anti-women people in the society who brought our country to this state and they intend to do the same again."

Delegates shouted "prostitute" at her, and the guards were ordered to throw her out. Later, a mob gathered where she was staying, threatening to rape and murder her. This moment sealed her reputation as "the bravest woman in Afghanistan".

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Malalai Joya Spring Tour 2011 to the USA

Malalai Joya will tour the United States in Spring 2011 to call attention to the on-going Afghan war and prospects for ending it.

United for Justice with Peace, March 6, 2011

Malalai Joya tour 2011

Malalai Joya, the acclaimed Afghan activist and author of A Woman Among Warlords, will tour the United States in Spring 2011 to call attention to the on-going Afghan war and prospects for ending it. A Woman Among Warlords has just been published in paperback with a new chapter on Afghanistan in the Obama era, and will be on sale at all her events.

NOTE: Due to visa problems, Malalai Joya was unable to attend her scheduled appearances in New York and Washington DC. We are pleased to announce that her tour has just been extended to enable her to return to the East Coast.

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