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Gul Padshah Majedi called Malalai Joya’s suspension as illegal

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Gul Padshah Majedi, Head of Immunity and Privileges Commission, said the decision of Wolesi Jirga about Malalai Joya is out of the rule of procedure of the house.

By Makia Munir, Pajhwok Afghan News, September 25, 2008 (Translated from Farsi)

The head of the parliamentary commission “Immunity and Privileges of MPs” in the Afghan parliament, confirmed the comments of Inter-Parliamentary Union and titled the suspension of Malalai Joya, the decision taken by Wolesi Jirga (lower house of the parliament), as illegal.

Malalai Joya, representative of Farah was suspended by the Wolesi Jirga in the running period of the present legislative on May of last year for verbally attacking and abusing the parliament.

Lately, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, of which Afghan Parliament is also a member, sent a letter to the parliament and demanded reinstatement of Malalai Joya.

This union called the decision of Malalai Joya’s suspension as illegal.

Gul Padshah Majedi, Head of Immunity and Privileges Commission, said in an interview with the Pajhwok Afghan News that the decision of Wolesi Jirga about Malalai Joya is out of the rule of procedure of the house.

He says that according to the principles of duties of Wolesi Jirga, if an MP commits a mistake once, he/she is given three chances and if repeats it, the speaker of the house would expel him and if he does not accept it, he is banished out by security forces.

Mohammad Zaman Azhari, Joya's defense lawyer
Mohammad Zaman Azhari, Joya's defense lawyer

According to Majedi, Wolesi Jirga did not go through this process and immediately expelled Joya.

He also said that at the time of expulsion, Joya was not given the chance of defending herself.

He further added that the letter of the Inter-Parliamentary Union would go to the main assembly and the final decision would be taken by them through the heads committee.

Although Joya started her disagreements right after her suspension but Majedi said that she has not yet consulted the Immunity and Privileges Commission of Wolesi Jirga.

Majedi elaborated, “I think that Malalai Joya herself is not interested in this issue and it is her carelessness.”

He says that now, the only way for Malalai Joya is to consult the Supreme Court as their decision cannot be amended by Wolesi Jirga.

He further included, “Malalai Joya is not yet under the immunity of Parliament.”

Malalai Joya was expelled with a majority of votes against her when she called the parliament a stable and some of its members as war criminals.

But Malalai Joya defended her abusive comments and said,

“My stand was quite obvious in my comments and my words are the voice of my people and their backing and support is with me and they (Wolesi Jirga) were looking for an excuse to expel me and in this interview I wanted to express my stand more firmly.”

She also criticized Tolo TV and said that the interview was censored and this was a deliberate and political conspiracy against her.

Muhammad Zaman Azhari, the defendant lawyer of Joya said in a press conference last week that three months ago, the judicial organs of Wolesi Jirga wanted information about the expulsion of Joya but till now they have not commented on Joya’s case.

But Abdul Sattar Khawasi, the first secretary of the parliament speaker, has denied these claims and said that they have not received such letter from judicial organs.

Many advocates of the country have different opinions about the suspension of Malalai Joya; some say that the expulsion of Joya is out of jurisdiction of Wolesi Jirga while according to others, it was a disciplinary action and it is one of the authorities of Wolesi Jirga.