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MPs assail police for dismantling Barakzai tent

MPs assail police for dismantling Barakzai tent

Oct 15, 2011 - 19:07

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): A number of Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members on Saturday condemned police for dismantling the tent where an ousted woman lawmaker observed a 12-day hunger strike.

Police on Thursday removed the tent of Samin Barakzai in front of Parliament and took the 32 years old to Sardar Daud Khan Hospital. She was unseated by the election commission in August.

MP Qazi Nasir Ahmad Hanafi from western Herat province called the police action a violation of human rights.  He said though it was necessary to prevent Barakzai from dying, the way she was treated was against the law.

"Parliament must not remain silent on the issue and should ask the government about it," said Muhammad Sarwar Osmani, another lawmaker.

Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said Wolesi Jirga commissions on defence and internal affairs must ask the Ministry of Interior regarding the action. He asked the commissions to present their reports before the house.

If legislators were not satisfied with the reports, interior minister officials be summoned to the house, he suggested.

However, ministry spokesman Ghulam Siddique Siddiqui insisted they had done nothing illegal in the case of Barakzai. The Law-Supporting Coalition and members of the hunger strike had been told that the tent was a soft target for militants, he said.

He said the protest tent was ended under a proper plan and Barakzai shifted to hospital for treatment.

Acting Minister of Public Healthinfo-icon Suraya Dalil told a press conference that Barakzai was under treatment in hospital.

His sister was still observing a hunger strike in hospital as of Saturday, said Muhammad Barakzai, a brother of Samin Barakzai. He asked the government to allow family members, MPs and media people to see her.

The ousted female MP had told a colleague to take her away from hospital, where her life was in danger, a lawmaker said on Friday.

Parliamentarian Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi, who joined the hunger strike, told reporters Barakzai had talked to her on the phone. Barakzai's conversation was recorded. "They are killing me and, if possible, take me out of here," Barakzai said.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Anti-Corruption Network also condemned the police action.  "Asking for social justice and rule of law is the constitutional right of every citizen. The government has not paid any attention to her demands."

The non-profit organisation urged the global fraternity to take immediate action on the issue. "Otherwise the presence of International community in Afghanistaninfo-icon can be questioned by the public," it warned.



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