I am writing to express my extreme concern about reports of serious threats of violence and abuse made by some members of parliament against other MPs. I am particularly concerned about the treatment of Malalai Joya, who remains suspended from parliament in breach of parliament’s own rules, just for using her constitutional right to express her opinion freely. Malalai is not the only MP who has been threatened by warlords in the government.
I appreciate the difficulties in governing a country that has seen so many wars and so much hardship. However, the government’s refusal to abide by its own rules or uphold the rule of law according to the Afghan Constitution, poses grave concerns for the freedoms that Afghanistan claims to uphold. It also sends the wrong signal to those around the country who seek to curtail human rights, particularly those of women. I am gravely concerned about the increasing violence, apparently being carried out with impunity, targeted at women and girls in Afghanistan, especially those seeking to participate fully in public life.
I respectfully request that you do all in your power to ensure that Malalai Joya is reinstated immediately and unconditionally and take all steps to guarantee the personal safety of all those MPs and others seeking to protect and promote the full equal rights of women as provided by the Afghan Constitution.