Reinstate Malalai Joya!
On May 21 there will be an international day of action in support of suspended Afghan MP Malalai Joya. Joya was suspended for speaking out about the record of human rights abuses by members of the warlord dominated Afghan Parliament.
The Canadian Peace Alliance is calling on members and supporters to organize events or to send letters demanding that that Joya be re-instated to the Afghan Parliament. We are also calling on the government of Canada to immediately call for her to be re-instated to the parliament to which she was duly elected.
The case of Malalai Joya speaks volumes about the nature of the new Afghan government, currently being supported by more than 2500 Canadian soldiers. She is a tireless defender of women’s rights and has organized a grassroots movement for peace and democracy in Afghanistan. That movement which can lay the foundation for real democratic development is being silenced by the Afghan state.
Please take the time to fax or e-mail a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier, the Afghan ambassador to Canada, Omar Samad, and the Afghan President Hamid Karzai and demand that they re-instate Malalai Joya.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
Foreign Minister, Maxime Bernier:
Fax: (613) 996 3443
Afghan Ambassador Omar Samad:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai:
Include some background information in your letter or refer to the articles listed below.
Joya has been a thorn in the side of the NATO-supported government by being an outspoken critic of the human rights abuses of the warlords that dominate the parliament of Afghanistan. In the elections of May 2005, more than 60 per cent of those elected to parliament were from known warlord groups, many of whom are responsible for war crimes committed during the civil war from 1992 to 1996. An international campaign to have the warlords held to account failed when the parliament decided to offer immunity for all past war crimes.
Joya has been threatened and attacked for her stance. In 2006, President Hamid Karzai cut her security funding, proving that women’s rights are not a concern for his government despite assertions to the contrary from the Government of Canada.
In an interview with the Guardian, Joya said: “When I speak in parliament they threaten me. In May they beat me by throwing bottles of water at me and they shouted, ‘Take her and rape her.’ These men who are in power, never have they apologized for their crimes that they committed in the wars, and now, with the support of the US, they continue with their crimes in a different way. That is why there is no fundamental change in the situation of women.”
Even before her suspension, Malalai Joya faced censorship, abuse and constant threats including assassination attempts because she spoke the truth about the situation in her country. She denounced the overwhelming control of warlords, drug lords and war criminals in the Afghan government backed by the US and NATO. She spoke up for real democracy and women’s rights, for disarmament, for the warlords to be brought to justice, and for peace in her country. For this, she has been silenced, and the governments of the NATO countries currently occupying Afghanistan have maintained a shameful silence.
For more information on Malalai Joya: http://malalaijoya.com
Read the Human Rights Watch statement about Malalai Joya’s suspension
‘Corruption eats away at Afghan government’
‘Ousted female Afghan lawmaker fighting to return to parliament
‘Despite Taliban’s fall, Afghanistan faces familiar troubles’
‘Canada should change its policy on Afghanistan’
Send your e-mail or fax.
Sign the on-line petition for Malalai Joya: http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/ReinstateMalalaiJoya
Please take video and photos of your event and send them to Malalai Joya’s defense committee at mj[at]malalaijoya.com.
To have your May 21 action listed, email Friends of Malalai Joya – Canada at malalai.joya[at]yahoo.ca.
Please let us know about your efforts by cc’ing the Canadian Peace Alliance firstname.lastname@example.org