Afghan Rights Activist Expects Death; Aid Agency Scales Down Operations

A leading Afghan women’s rights activist, Malaly Joya, expects to be killed for her opposition against former warlords. According to Joya, “I know that if not today, then probably tomorrow, I will be physically annihilated,” reports BBC News. During the Loya Jirga in 2003, Joya protested the exclusion of women during the selection of committee chairs to the Loya Jirga. Joya faced several death threats after she spoke out against former rulers in Afghanistan, asking that they be tried in international courts for bringing wars to Afghanistan, and was placed under United Nations protection. According to Joya, even months later her family is still not safe. Meanwhile, a United Nations refugee agency announced that it was cutting down its operations in southeastern Afghanistan. Last week, two Afghan aid workers, working for the a German relief agency called Malteser Germany and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, were killed in Gardez, Afghanistan. According to Reuters, a spokesman for the United Nations aid agency stated “we have put all staff travel in the southeast on hold while we review the situation. We do not operate in areas where we don’t feel secure.” The French aid group, Doctors Without Borders, ended its work in Afghanistan after 24 years because five of its employees were killed this past June. According to Reuters, more than thirty aid workers have been killed during the past year in Afghanistan. DONATE to the Feminist Majority and support our global women’s rights programs TAKE ACTION Urge the Bush administration to expand peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan


BBC News 8/9/04; Reuters 8/7/04; UN News Service 8/7/04; Feminist Daily News Wire 12/18/03, 12/17/03

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