South Asia News
Disqualified Afghan lawmaker on hunger strike in critical condition
Oct 10, 2011, 15:31 GMT
Kabul - The health of an Afghan lawmaker who went on hunger strike nine days ago to protest her disqualification from her position was deteriorating rapidly on Monday.
A doctor visiting 32-year-old Simin Barakzai in a tent she erected outside parliament said she was in danger of suffering kidney failure. Barakzai had not allowed herself to be injected with saline water for two days, he added.
Barakzai, from the western province of Herat, was one of nine members of parliament who were disqualified by the independent electoral commission in August.
The committee was acting on the recommendations of a special tribunal set up by President Hamid Karzai to investigate allegations of fraud and violence during the September 2010 elections.
Karzai's critics have said the tribunal was set up to scare new legislators into obeying him.
On Monday Barakzai blamed the president for her condition, saying she had won the election on fair grounds.
'The government should reconsider the electoral count of the nine lawmakers disqualified, including myself,' she said.
'President Karzai said he would address the issue on Saturday but he didn't do anything,' Barakzia's husband Mohammad told dpa, adding that no government officials had been to see them.
Fatana Gilani, a women's rights activist, told reporters that she had asked Barakzai to discontinue the strike for the sake of her children.
'It's not worth giving her life for. But she would not listen,' Gilani said.
Karzai's spokesman was not available for comment.