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Barakzai on verge of death, says brother

Barakzai on verge of death, says brother

Oct 18, 2011 - 18:02

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Ousted woman lawmaker Samin Barakzai, who entered the 17th day of hunger strike against her removal from the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, is unable to speak, her brother said on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old from western Herat province went on fast unto death on October 2 in a tent in front of Parliament.

In August, the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) announced eight MPs, including Barakzai, as failed and replaced them with as many candidates, who were previously certified as having lost the Sept 18, 2010 parliamentary polls.

At her last press conference on Oct. 13, Barakzai asked President Hamid Karzai to constitute a team of Wolesi Jirga members, civil societyinfo-icon members, human rights activists and European Union representatives to investigate her case.

A day later, police dismantled her tent and took the woman to the Mohammad Daud Civil Hospital for treatment.

Her brother, Mohammad Raza Barakzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News on Tuesday his sister was under treatment, but her healthinfo-icon condition was fast deteriorating.

"This morning I visited her. Doctors told me if she did not end her strike soon, she may die," the brother said, adding Barakzai was unable to speak, but determined to continue her fast.

He alleged her sister was evicted from the protest camp by police to keep her away from the media glare and to silence her voice.

Interior ministry spokesman, Ghulam Sadiq Siddiqui, said Barakzai's tent had been removed for security reasons, as it was a soft target for insurgents.

A press release issued by the ministry of parliamentary affairs on October 13 said a committee had been constituted to probe the Barakzai election case. The five-member body had started its work, it said. The committee includes two MPs, as many members from the election commission and a civil society member.

President Karzai, during a telephone conversation with Wolesi Jirga Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, said last week that a commission was being constituted to probe Barakzai's case. He asked the woman to introduce her two representatives to the proposed commission.

Barakzai has said President Karzai, his first deputy, the election commission chief and the Wolesi Jirga speaker would be responsible for her death.



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