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AFGHANISTAN: The country’s most famous women speaks out

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You’ve failed…That’s what Ms Malalai Joya - the youngest member of the Afghani Parliament says about the reconstruction of her country… it’s failed.

The US has failed and the coalition has failed. The conditions of the people of Afghanistan and especially women, are worse now than under the Taliban.

According to the 28 year old, the parliament is ruled by warlords and drug lords… and now those people will be granted amnesty for war crimes under a recently passed bill. Malalai Joya is outspoken about her contempt for the “mask of democracy in Afghanistan…

She’s in the region and the moment and Alice Brennan caught up with her.


Meet Malalai Joya, Afghanistan’s youngest parliamentarian. That’s the sound of her being thrown out of the grand council back in 2003.

What you can hear is her first big public speech post the fall of the Taliban. Instead of boosting about freedom and liberty this 28 year old is in the process of denouncing a public force in Afghani politics. They are who she calls warlord or drug lords.

“The warlords they did lots of crimes in our country against our people. They have done lots of crimes against freedom loving people and they have destroyed our country. Some of them are Taliban and some of them jihads and some of them are puppets of Russia. Three kinds of criminals from three periods of history we have in Afghanistan.

So while many of us are imagining a free and fresh Afghanistan, rejoicing in a new democracy, Malalai Joya sees it differently. America attempts to paint Afghanistan as a free flourishing democracy. She calls Afghanistan today a fake democracy.

“I was sure that our parliament would be a non-democratic parliament. You can see for yourself now. For example, there is no freedom of speech there is no freedom of the press, two times they beat up a journalist. Even inside the parliament after my speech one warlord is shouting take and rape her. I have many memories that are like torture for me. But because of my people I accept that. Why at the being of the parliament I want to have to speech because most of these warlords, these drug lords have a mask of democracy.

You say that it is a fake democracy but for so many years Afghanistan lived under the Taliban. Democracy takes time. Have things at all improved in terms of women’s rights?

“Yeah it’s true it takes time we understand that after so many years of war. But when it will be hopeful for our people is when day by day democracy is improving. When democratic parties are supported and people are slowly allowed to say what they want. The reality of Afghanistan is another thing and there are lots of stories that the media is not telling about.

You would prefer to be living in a parliament rather than the Taliban would you? Is is it because you’re a young woman?

“The main thing that I wanted to tell you the second I saw you was things have change very very little in the name of democracy unfortunately. The changes that have happened after the fall of the Taliban are like a drop in the ocean. Brothers of the Taliban are in power in the mask of democracy with the support of America unfortunately.

From her first public outcry, Malayla Joya has returned to Afghanistan to denounce parliamentarians that she calls warlord many times and publicly. That is a decision that has almost cost her own life and continues to put her in grave danger. She rarely stays in the same house for more than a couple of nights and when she goes out she wears a full burka.

“I am not only young generation but I am an educated woman also. That’s why I thought I must serve my people. I believe that no nation can grant liberation to another nation and women’s right is not something that someone gives us. We must do some kind of sacrifices, we must accept some risks, and we must face some hardships to achieve our rights. That’s why I decided to do some sacrifices and I’m ready to do even more sacrifices because of my people and country. And I believe in democracy and human rights. I am not only young generation but I am a young women. That’s why I thought I must serve my people.


Last Updated ( Friday, 12 June 2009 15:55 )  

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