"A ticking time bomb"

Ex-Afghan MP speaks out for women

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


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.

"The situation in Afghanistan is like a ticking time bomb," Malalai Joya said yesterday at a news conference organized by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War. "I want to continue my struggle for my homeland."

Joya, 28, was expelled from the Afghanistan parliament last May after being elected in 2005 with a majority in Farah province. She was kicked out for publicly criticizing the human rights abuses of fellow MPs.

Since then, Joya has been the target of four assassination bids and receives threats against her life weekly.

She travels in Afghanistan wearing a burka and with armed guards.

She was in Toronto yesterday to raise awareness of the suffering of women and children and call for the Canadian government to withdraw their support for Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"The situation is horrendous for women in Afghanistan," Joya said at the Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, on Bloor St. W. "Members of the Taliban are kidnapping women and raping them."