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Reinstatement of outspoken woman MP urged

"Ms. Joya has been an outspoken critic of the heavy presence of warlords and other anti-democratic forces in the Afghan parliament"

Pajhwok Afghan News, November 29, 2007

Malalai Joya
Malalai Joya speaks at Dalhousie University yesterday. (Daily News/Ryan Taplin)

KABUL: More than two dozen international writers and activists have called for the immediate reinstatement of a blunt woman member of Afghan Parliament.

They said the case of Malalai Joya, the 29-year-old elected representative suspended from the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) in May this year, required the urgent attention of the international community.

In a press release emailed to Pajhwok Afghan News on Thursday, 25 activists and writers living in countries whose governments are at war in Afghanistan and back the Hamid Karzai administration voiced support to the suspended parliamentarian.

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Enemies of Happiness

A film by Eva Mulvad and Anja Al-Erhayem about Malalai Joya

Order through: Women Make Movies

Enemies of Happiness poster

"In September 2005, Afghanistan held its first parliamentary elections in 35 years. Among the candidates for 249 assembly seats was Malalai Joya, a courageous, controversial 27-year-old woman who had ignited outrage among hard-liners when she spoke out against corrupt warlords at the Grand Council of tribal elders in 2003. ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS is a revelatory portrait of this extraordinary freedom fighter and the way she won the hearts of voters, as well as a snapshot of life and politics in war-torn Afghanistan.

Tags: Videos

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Canada’s combat role criticized

But suspended MP from Afghanistan doesn’t want Canucks to leave

By Markus Ermisch, Kamloops This Week, November 10, 2007

Malalai Joya’s reputation as an uncompromising, relentless critic of Afghanistan’s parliament and administration seemed to be at odds with the tone of her brief guest lecture at Thompson Rivers University on Sunday.

The 29-year-old, who was suspended from parliament for the duration of her four-year term in May because of her verbal attacks against the Afghan government, spoke in a soft voice about the plight of the people in her war-ravaged country.

To be sure, the facts she mouthed quietly to the packed auditorium were staggering — 95 per cent of women in the Asian country suffer from depression; every 28 minutes a woman in Afghanistan dies during childbirth — but the fiery orator many in the audience had expected was nowhere to be heard.

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Meet Afghanistan's 'bravest woman'

"I'm from a land of tragedy called Afghanistan," said Malalai Joya

BY RACHEL MENDLESON, The Daily News, November 9, 2007

Joya in Canada
Malalai Joya speaks at Dalhousie University yesterday. (Daily News/Ryan Taplin)

The so-called bravest woman in Afghanistan is a petite 29-year-old, with a soft voice and a polite, reserved demeanor. But when the recently ousted member of parliament speaks of the cost of championing human rights in her home country - and her resolve to continue doing so - her dark eyes command attention.

"I'm from a land of tragedy called Afghanistan," said Malalai Joya, who spoke at Dalhousie University yesterday as part of her Canadian tour to promote a shift in foreign policy - away from occupation, toward education.

Joya earned her title from the BBC for speaking out against the "warlords and druglords" she says control Afghanistan's parliament, to which she was elected in 2005. She was thrust into the global spotlight when she was ejected in May for allegedly slandering fellow MPs.

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TRU gets a chance to see history in the flesh

She has been called the bravest woman in Afghanistan — and she is just that.

By Dale Bass, Kamloops This Week, November 9, 2007

Malalai Joya
Malalai Joya speaks at Dalhousie University (Daily News/Ryan Taplin)

About 18 months ago, I read an article on a website about a young parliamentarian whose colleagues — while sitting in session — threw bottles at her, puller her hair, knocked over chairs and yelled out threats.

All this because she spoke the truth.

Malalai Joya, the youngest person ever elected to the Afghan parliament, interrupted a former warlord — the parliament is filled with former warlords now masquerading as politicians — who was praising the Mujahadin, a Muslim-based military force.

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Afghan MP fights for women's rights

“Security is more important than food and water for our people,” Joya said

By Blaine van der Griend, The Toronto Observer , November 8, 2007

Malalai Joya
Malalai Joya speaks at Dalhousie University yesterday. (Daily News/Ryan Taplin)

Most Canadians can only experience “hell on Earth” in their nightmares, but for Afghan MP Malalai Joya, it is an every day reality.

Joya was invited to share some of her experiences at Toronto’s Steelworkers Hall at 25 Cecil St. on Nov. 6. She was very outspoken about the horrors that she and other women in Afghanistan face on a day-to-day basis.

Joya says that safety is her main concern and in her view, when the U.S. troops invaded Afghanistan, it did not solve any problems; it escalated them.

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Joya and freedom

Malalai Joya, a former Afghanistan MP, has crossed the country to demand that Canadian troops leave Afghanistan. Tonight, she brings the message to Halifax.

By Angela Day , The Coast, November 8, 2007

Malalai Joya Malalai Joya speaks at Dalhousie University (Daily News/Ryan Taplin)

Six years after Canadian troops were deployed to Afghanistan, Malalai Joya, a former Afghan parliamentarian, speaks from the belly of the so-called beast.

Twenty-nine year old Joya, who was born in Afghanistan but grew up in refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan, is a women's rights activist and former member of the Afghan parliament, the Loya Jirga. Currently, she's on a speaking tour in Canada and will be visiting Halifax this week with an arsenal of words---her weapon of choice in the 'war on terror.'

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"A ticking time bomb"

Ex-Afghan MP speaks out for women

By TOM GODFREY, SUN MEDIA, Toronto Sun, November 8, 2007

Joya in Canada

A controversial Afghan politician who survived four assassination attempts says women and children are the ones suffering the most from the daily fighting and killings in her homeland.

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Controversial Afghan parliamentarian visits Vancouver

Calls on Canada to 'act independently' and break from U.S. policy

Mike Howell, Vancouver Courier, November 7, 2007

She is a politician who is prepared to die.

As a member of Afghanistan's legislature, Malalai Joya says she has received death threats and her house has been shot up for reasons she believes are connected to her criticism of the country's government.

In December 2003, she famously spoke out against the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, saying it was dominated by warlords. She also described the country's 249-seat legislature as worse than an animal stable, "like a zoo." Since her denouncement--and subsequent suspension from the legislature--the 29-year-old Joya said her life is in danger. It has forced her to travel in Afghanistan under a burqa with armed bodyguards.

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Warlords no better than Taliban, says Afghan MP

Taliban make use of the situation and become powerful.

Michael Stittle, CTV.ca News, November 7, 2007

Joya in Canada

As Afghan police scrambled to the scene of a bomb blast Tuesday that killed five lawmakers and dozens of children, Malalai Joya, haunted by death threats and assassination attempts in Afghanistan, sat on the other side of the world, clutching a cup of tea with her eyes cast downward.

"This is not the first suicide bomb in Afghanistan and it will not be the last," she warned. "The problem is that the victims are always innocent victims -- especially children."

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Q&A: "When I Leave My House, I'm Not Sure I'll Make It Back"

Interview with Malalai Joya

IPS, November 7, 2007

Joya in press conference in kabul Afghan lawmaker Malalai Joya, shown at a Kabul press conference in May, speaks in Toronto tomorrow night on "Women and War in Afghanistan." (MUSADEQ SADEQ/AP)

VANCOUVER, Canada, Nov 7 (IPS) - Malalai Joya was four years old when her family fled Afghanistan in 1982 to the refugee camps of Iran and later Pakistan.

Her father was a medical student who lost a foot during the Soviet invasion. Joya returned to Afghanistan in 1998 during the Taliban's reign. During that time she founded an orphanage and health clinic, and became a vocal opponent of the Taliban.

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Pull out troops, politician urges

Canada is supporting a corrupt administration, says suspended parliamentarian Malalai Joy

Isabel Teotonio, Staff reporter, Toronto Star, November 5, 2007

Joya in press conference in kabul Afghan lawmaker Malalai Joya, shown at a Kabul press conference in May, speaks in Toronto tomorrow night on "Women and War in Afghanistan." (MUSADEQ SADEQ/AP)

Canada must pull its troops out of Afghanistan and no longer support a government full of "warlords, drug lords and criminals" if it wants to aid in rebuilding the stricken nation and avoid another 9/11, says a controversial Afghan politician.

"(Canada) must act independently and not follow the policy of the United States," says Malalai Joya, 29, a firebrand currently on a nationwide speaking tour that brings her to Toronto tomorrow night.

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Malalai Joya: "truth has a very strong voice"

In Canada, the government follows the footpath of the U.S. but the people are so great I am speechless about their warm sympathy and support.

By Gina Whitfield, Rabble News, November 5, 2007

Joya in NDP Convention Joya's speech in the NDP convention in Sep.2006 was responded by the audience warmly.

Stephen Harper's government has not seen fit to comment on the case of Malalai Joya, the suspended Afghan parliamentarian who has become known around the world because of her courage in denouncing the warlords and war criminals who have been empowered by NATO and foreign interests in Afghanistan. While Ottawa has thus far kept silent on the issue, we have the story covered. Last month, Gina Whitfield previewed Joya's speaking tour across Canada, and she follows that up with this interview conducted after a week of events across British Columbia.

Gina Whitfield: People here, I think, often wonder how you got elected in the first place [in 2005], given the type of politics you represent and the situation in Afghanistan. Can you explain how you were able to win so much support?

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No more occupation

“Today people are sandwiched between two enemies—the Northern Alliance with the U.S., and the Taliban,” she said.

by Meaghan Kerr, Martlet, The University of Victoria's Independent Newspaper, Nov.1, 2007, Volume 60 No. 13

Joya in Canada Afghan parliamentarian Malalai Joya headed a rally to end the war in Afghanistan. (Josh Szczepanowski)

“In the name of democracy and peace: dear friends, while Afghans are being marginalized, suppressed and silenced, you give a helping hand to me as a small voice of my suffering people.”

So began a lecture by controversial Afghan parliamentarian Malalai Joya on Oct. 28 at UVic’s David Lam Auditorium.

Joya spoke as a closure to the Pan-Canadian Day of Action Against War in Afghanistan. The weekend saw major anti-war demonstrations in 21 Canadian cities, and Joya was in both Vancouver and Victoria to speak at events. The 29-year-old critic and activist is traveling across Canada to raise awareness on human rights issues in Afghanistan, particularly women’s rights.

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We don't need Canada's 'heroes,' Afghan MP tells Victoria rally

Material, moral support is welcome, she says, but soldiers unwittingly back U.S., warlords

Richard Watts, Times Colonist (Victoria), October 29, 2007

Joya in Canada Afghan activist Malalai Joya speaks at an anti-war rally at the cenotaph in front of B.C. legislature yesterday. Joya, the youngest member of the Afghan parliament, says Canadian soldiers fighting the Taliban are unwitting agents of U.S. foreign policy. (Photo: Bruce Stotesbury)

Afghan activist Malalai Joya speaks at an anti-war rally at the cenotaph in front of B.C. legislature yesterday. Joya, the youngest member of the Afghan parliament, says Canadian soldiers fighting the Taliban are unwitting agents of U.S. foreign policy.

Afghanistan doesn't need Canada's soldiers but would be grateful for any material and moral support, a female member of the Afghan parliament said yesterday.

Malalai Joya said Canadian soldiers -- "heroes" she called them -- now fighting the Taliban are unwitting agents of U.S. foreign policy, which in itself is supporting an Afghan government dominated by the country's warlords and drug lords.

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