Afghan Police Break Up Former MP’s Hunger Strike

Posted October 14th, 2011 at 9:05 am (UTC-5)
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Afghan police have taken a female politician to the hospital after removing her from outside parliament, where she had been holding a hunger strike.

Simeen Barakzai had not eaten in 12 days and was determined to continue to fast until she was reinstated as a member of parliament. She repeatedly had refused to be taken to a hospital or to take a glucose drip, despite reports that her health was in critical condition.

Barakzai spoke to VOA after arriving at the hospital late Wednesday, crying and accusing the police of using force and violence to remove her from her tent.

Afghan election officials removed Barakzai and eight others from their seats in the national assembly two months ago in an attempt to resolve long-running allegations of widespread graft in a September 2010 parliamentary vote.

On Tuesday, the head of the country's election commission reaffirmed their decision to expel the lawmakers for voter fraud.