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Home >> World
UPDATED: 21:05, May 30, 2007
Afghan protesters demand restoration of membership of lawmaker
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Hundreds of Afghans launched a protest on Wednesday in Kabul to call for the restoration of the membership of an outspoken and controversial female lawmaker.

Supporters of Malalai Joya, a parliament member sacked days ago, gathered before the office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), to ask UN officials to help restore her membership.

Carrying banners and slogans supporting Joya, the demonstrators said she had been serving in Afghans' interest.

"Joya is struggling against human rights violators and national tyrants," said a protestor Dr. Mohammad Sidiq. "We want to see her sit in the parliament again."

A majority of lawmakers in Afghan parliament's lower house voted for suspending Joya's membership in the house on May 21, saying she severely insulted the legislature.

In a recent interview with a TV channel, Joya, 28, described the parliament as something worse than a "livestock stable," causing much dissatisfaction among many lawmakers.

The outspoken lawmaker, who is well-known in Afghanistan and very popular among some Afghans, has often criticized the parliament and some of its members on a variety of issues.

She is especially critical of the former tribal leaders or warlords now acting as lawmakers, who she said should be punished for their roles in decades-long war in Afghanistan.

Similar demonstrations showing support to Joya have been held in several other provinces in this country such as Farah, Nangarhar and Baghlan.

Source: Xinhua

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