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Pre-2008 Posts

The Courage to Make Revolution: Malalai Joya Supporters Rally in Farah and Jalalabad

 Jalalabad protest

Farah protest

In an article about Malalai Joya, Nerali magazine links to information about the Afghan heroine for whom Joya was named, whose courage inspired Afghan freedom fighters to press on until they were able to turn back the Indo-British colonizers in the Second Afghan War in the late 1880s. 

The story gives me chills and brings tears of joy and rage into my eyes, particularly in that this revolutionary courage so obviously lives on in Malalai Joya and her sisters and colleagues who are leading the Afghan people in the fight against the colonizer-backed warlords in the Afghan parliament who continue to terrorize the Afghan people.

Joya supporters rally in Jalalabad

Afghan citizens have rallied in Jalalabad and Farah over the past few days carrying banners and placards and chanting slogans demanding that Malalai Joya be returned to her parliament seat and condemning the warlords.

According to this report, Shabana, one of the protestors, said:

“Joya is not only representative of the Farah people, she is representing women all across the country.”

Another protestor, Gul Makai,  said Joya’s ouster from the Parliament was a conspiracy hatched by those accused of war crimes and human right violations.

“They (warlords) have hijacked the Wolesi Jirga and consider Joya’s presence in the House in tussle with their interests.”

According to a report on Joya’s website, she has the support of the majority of Afghan people.  From her site:

In a press conference in Kabul, Joya announced that it is a political conspiracy against her and she will continue her fight against the warlords and enemies of Afghan people. She is ready to face an independent court and will use the opportunity to expose the enemies of Afghan people through it. Joya added, “but I am very sorry that there is no justice in Afghanistan and the judiciary is also infected with the virus of warlordism and the fundamentalists occupy it.”

Some Afghan lawyers that we approached believe that the Parliament’s decision is illegal and only a court can decide to oust an elected representative of people from the parliament.

But we are happy that majority of ordinary Afghan people strongly support Joya and she is receiving many phone calls, letters and emails full of sympathies and solidarity following the parliament decision.

WE URGE all her supporters and well-wishers to come forward and help Joya now.

YOU CAN do so in the following ways:

– Write to Afghan officials and file your protest for expelling and prosecuting Joya, while the terrorists and human rights violators in the parliament were provided immunity before any court for their past crimes last month.

– Express your concern for Joya’s security during the court sessions as the fundamentalists currently hold key positions in Afghanistan’s judiciary.

– Circulate this letter and ask lawyers and defenders of human rights in your area and country to come forward and help Joya during her court proceedings and defend her.

– Donate to Joya’s security fund online  to help improve her security with necessary equipment and facilities, while she is now deprived of all official facilities.

Letters of protest can be sent to the following sources:

President Hamid Karzai

Supreme Court of Afghanistan
Feedback Form of the Supreme Court

Afghanistan’s Parliament

Interior Ministry

Justice Ministry of Afghanistan

More info here, here, and here, and here is  information about a Sundance-award winning documentary about Joya entitled Enemies of Happiness.




6 thoughts on “The Courage to Make Revolution: Malalai Joya Supporters Rally in Farah and Jalalabad

  1. Hi Heart,

    Donation sent.

    I wish it could have been 100 times greater than it was.


    Posted by Mary Sunshine | May 27, 2007, 8:54 pm
  2. Obliquely related: on decline of rights of women in Iraq since the U.S. invasion:

    Posted by profacero | May 27, 2007, 9:30 pm
  3. From a RAWA article about Joya’s expulsion:

    Ms Joya’s suspension yesterday came after a tape of her interview with Tolo TV, an independent station which has faced official wrath over some of its investigative reports, was shown to MPs. Describing what was happening in parliament, she had said: “A stable or a zoo is better, at least there you have a donkey that carries a load and a cow that provides milk. This parliament is worse than a stable or a zoo.”

    A letter sent by the speaker of the upper house to the speaker of the lower house, Yunus Qanooni, accused Ms Joya of humiliating the institution of parliament. The letter said: “If the lower house does not take a decision about her, we will take a decision.” Mr Qanooni said that Ms Joya should be brought before a court. When asked on what grounds, he responded: “The court will explain this.”

    Several of Afghanistan’s MPs are former warlords. One of the last clashes Ms Joya had with them was earlier this year when she opposed legislation granting an amnesty against charges of war crimes during Afghanistan’s last 25 years of conflict.

    The National Reconciliation Bill declared that the “defenders” of the jihad “must be treated with respect and be defended against any kind of offence”. Ms Joya said the bill was “unjust and went against the will of the people. Those guilty must be tried. In fact, they have already been tried in the minds and hearts of the people and they should be tried officially.”

    In response, she was called “a traitor who should be severely punished”. During a street rally thousands of supporters of the warlords turned MPs chanted “death to Malalai Joya”.

    Most of Ms Joya’s campaigning has been about women’s rights, which have been severely eroded after initial gains made with the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Women activists, including the highest-ranking official dealing with female empowerment, Safia Amajan, have been murdered.

    Ms Joya said: “Talking about women’s rights in Afghanistan is a joke. There really have not been any fundamental changes, the Taliban were driven off by the Americans and the British but then they were allowed to be replaced by warlords who also simply cannot see women as equals.”

    She added: “Those of us who speak up are targets. My friends and colleagues have been assassinated. They have tried to kill me four times, the last attack was in Kabul which is the capital of this country which is supposed to be secure and democratic. And then if you try to speak up in parliament their first reaction is to try to gag you.”

    I blogged about the murder of Sofia Amajan here.

    It is well worth anyone’s while to read The US Has Returned Fundamentalism to Afghanistan, the text of a speech Joya gave in April. From the speech:

    Dear friends, in 2001 the US government announced that it has learned from its past mistakes of supporting the fundamentalists in Afghanistan and will not repeat them. But the agonizing truth is that the US is committing the same mistakes. It is generously supporting the fundamentalists more than ever.

    Besides supporting the bands of the Northern Alliance, underground efforts are going on to include some elements of the Taliban and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in the government.

    The US included Gulbuddin Hekmatyar on its list of most wanted terrorists, yet his party was allowed to have 34 members in the Afghan parliament, which was elected in an

    un-democratic and fraudulent election. I have announced a number of times that the US administration has no problem working with pro-American terrorists, but oppose only anti-American terrorists. This is the reason that our people make a mockery of the “war on terror”.

    I fully agree with Kathy Gannon, an expert in Afghanistan, that “the US is not interested in peace in Afghanistan. The people who killed thousands, who patronized the drug business are in charge of the country.”

    Dear friends, the US is not concerned with the suffering and disastrous conditions of our people; it is in the US’s strategic and economic interests to put our people in danger as

    long as its own regional interests are met. That is why our people do not consider the US a “liberator” of our country. The US invaded Afghanistan under the name of human rights
    and democracy but today we are as far from these values as were 5 years ago. However, since 2001 the death toll of innocent civilians as a result of the so-called “war on

    terror” is five times the number killed in the 9/11 tragedy.

    I hope you have realized from the small taste of the problems that I just shared, that my country is still in the chains of bloody and terrorist fundamentalists. The situation in Afghanistan and the conditions of its ill-fated women will never change positively, as long as the warlords are not disarmed and both the pro-US and anti-US terrorists are not removed from the political scene of Afghanistan.

    It is a clear and proven fact that no nation can donate liberation to another nation. Liberation is not money to be donated; it should be achieved in a country by the people
    themselves. The ongoing developments in Afghanistan and Iraq prove this claim. People of other countries only can give us a helping hand and support.

    I think that the people of the US can play a great role to put pressure on their policy-makers to stop its wrong policies in Afghanistan and value the wishes of our people. I should say that unlike its government, the people of the US are great, caring and peace-loving, so the democratic-minded elements of Afghanistan can count on your support and solidarity.

    The people of the US must help poor Afghan people and its democratic-minded individuals and groups, who are currently defeated and under much pressure. This is the only correct

    policy that can help Afghan people and guarantee a bright future for us. Unlike the US administration, the true friends of Afghan people must care about the voices of our men and women for justice; they should realize that the existence of fundamentalist groups of any brand as political and military forces, is the main cause of all the problems in

    Afghanistan. They should know that bringing the Northern Alliance to power was the key to all the disasters that we are experiencing today.

    Honestly, read the whole thing.


    Posted by Heart | May 28, 2007, 6:42 pm


  1. Pingback: Afghan freedom | Cronespace - May 28, 2007

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