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Afghanistan: Human Rights

Volume 698: debated on Wednesday 6 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are making representations to the Government of Afghanistan concerning revocation of the death sentence pronounced on Mr Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, and the reinstatement of Ms Malalai Joya as a member of the Parliament. [HL1709]

The Government were concerned to hear about the case of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh. We are opposed to the death penalty. We fully support the right to freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial. We are pursuing the matter in Afghanistan through the EU and UN. The office of the UN Special Representative in Afghanistan has already been called publicly for a review of the case.

Malalai Joya was suspended by her peers in Parliament in May 2007 after a media interview in which she said that the Afghan Parliament was worse than a “stable or zoo”. She was suspended under Parliament's Rules of Procedure. Ms Joya has the right to challenge the decision, but has not yet chosen to do so. The Government, together with EU partners, regularly raise the importance of freedom of expression in Afghanistan and look forward to Ms Joya and Parliament resolving this internal parliamentary issue.