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Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 15:37 UK

Call to reinstate Afghan woman MP

By Martin Patience
BBC News, Kabul

File photograph of Malalai Joya
Ms Joya says the Afghan government is refusing to allow her to travel

The US-based group Human Rights Watch has called for a female Afghan MP to be reinstated a year after she was suspended from the parliament.

Malalai Joya was accused of insulting the house and was suspended until the end of its parliamentary term in 2009.

The MP, who has a reputation for being fiery and outspoken, had compared the parliament to an animal stable.

But Ms Joya says that the remarks, made during a television interview, were taken out of context.

Safe house

The female MP is a fierce critic of former Afghan warlords, many of whom are now in parliament and many of whom have been accused of war crimes.

On one occasion, she was physically attacked during a session in the lower house.

She says she fears for her life, moving from location to location every day and living at secret addresses.

Ms Joya also says that the Afghan government is refusing to allow her to travel.

Human Rights Watch said that her case presented a real test for Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

They said that Ms Joya should be reinstated, adding that even outspoken women should have a role in re-building Afghanistan.


SEE ALSO
Leading Afghan woman MP suspended
21 May 07 |  South Asia
Warlords and women in uneasy mix
14 Nov 05 |  South Asia
Profile: Malalai Joya
12 Nov 05 |  South Asia

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