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"They are killing me," Barakzai tells colleague

"They are killing me," Barakzai tells colleague

Oct 14, 2011 - 18:27

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Ousted female MP, Samin Barakzai, who has been on hunger strike, has told her colleague to take her away from a hospital as her life was in danger there, a lawmaker said on Friday.

Barakzai was evicted from her protest camp near the Parliament and the tent removed by police, who took her to the Mohammad Duad Khan hospital in Wazir Akbar Khan area for what they said her deteriorating healthinfo-icon condition.

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

She did not specify who was threatening her life in the hospital.

The Law Supporting Coalition claimed the tent had been removed on orders from Vice President Muhammad Qasim Fahim. However, the Interior Ministry rejected the claim as baseless.

The Ministry said it had asked the Law Supporting Coalition to help the government convince Barakzai to end her strike, but the coalition chief, Haji Zahir Qadir, rejected the request.

Qadir told a press conference in Kabul that the vice president had ordered the removal of the tent.

He strongly condemned the vice president's action and urged the people of Afghanistaninfo-icon, human rights organizations, civil societyinfo-icon and political parties to support Barakzai.

He alleged that the United Nations and the embassies of some foreign countries were behind the vice president's action.

Interior Ministry spokesman Ghulam Sidique Sidiqui strongly rejected Qadir's claims, saying that the coalition and members of the hunger strike had been told that the tent was a soft target for militants.

He said the protest tent was removed with a proper plan and Barakzai shifted to the Sardar Mohammad Daud Hospital for treatment.

Barakzai, formerly an MP from the western province of Herat, was one of nine members of parliament who were disqualified by the Independent Electoral Commission in August.

She has refused food and liquids for 13 days. She is very weak, and her kidneys are failing.

“My sole aim is to ensure justice,” she said in an interview several days ago, her voice even then barely above a whisper. “Either my appeal will be accepted by the appropriate national and international entities or my life will end.”

Karzai and a host of other government officials have visited Barakzai in her tent to plead for an end to her hunger strike and to offer reassurances that a solution will be found.

Various organizations, including the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) have agitated for Karzai to take action.

The problem began in September, 2010, with Parliamentary elections that were so tainted by allegations of fraud that it was almost impossible to determine the winners.

The Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECCinfo-icon)  released “final, certified” results at the end of October, 2010 after investigating thousands of complaints.

President Hamid Karzai inaugurated the new Parliament on Jan. 26, 2011, but the vote-rigging controversy has continued. The IEC's August decision came after a special court convened by President Karzai attempted in June to disqualify 62 MPs, nearly a quarter of the lower house, based on a vote recount.

The IEC insisted it had the sole constitutional authority to certify election results, and Karzai referred the matter back to the electoral body in August, urging it to implement the special court's decision.

The IEC instead disqualified nine candidates from among the 62 disqualified by the special tribunal.



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