Afghan parliament descends into chaos as lawmakers attack female legislator

[JURIST] The floor of the Afghan parliament has witnessed its first outbreak of violence, with lawmakers physically and verbally assaulting a controversial female legislator who called several of the country's mujahedeen leaders criminals unfit for public office. Female colleagues of 27-year old anti-fundamentalist women's health worker Malalai Joya [advocacy website; BBC profile] threw plastic bottles at her and male lawmakers insulted her and allegedly made death threats in the wake of a speech Sunday. Joya was surrounded by a cordon of moderates and escaped unhurt.

In December Joya caused a furor [JURIST report] shortly after the opening of Afghanistan's first democratically-elected parliament in thirty years by calling for all of the country's human rights abusers and "criminal warlords" to be brought to justice [recorded video]. Members of the new parliament included Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, who has been accused of war crimes [HRW report; JURIST report] and Abdul Salaam Rocketi, a former Taliban commander. AP has more. Pajhwok Afghan News has local coverage.

 

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