Afghanistan: Murdered congresswoman wants to leave

A former Afghan congressman was killed at home while trying to leave the country.

Her friend Robina Jalali told CTV News: “She was always talking about women’s rights in Afghanistan. “She was expecting something bad to happen to her.”

Former Afghan parliament member Mursal Nabizada and her bodyguard were shot dead in Kabul on Sunday. First elected in 2019, she remains in office until the Taliban takeover in August 2021 and is one of at least nine female members of parliament still in the country.

“Mursal Nabizada is not only a colleague, she is also one of my best friends,” Jalali said through an interpreter.

Jalali was the first of two female athletes from Afghanistan to appear at the 2004 Olympics, following the fall of the Taliban three years earlier. Speaking from Albania, where she has been stuck for 16 months waiting for news of her own asylum application to arrive in Canada, Jalali said that Nabizada is becoming desperate to flee Afghanistan – but foreign officials did not respond to her call.

Jalali stated: “Mursal herself sent a lot of emails and no one replied to her. “Until she lost her sweet life.”

On Monday, six members of Canada’s Parliament from different parties released a joint statement calling on the federal government to do more to help women who served as Afghan legislators safely arrive in Canada. MPs from the Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Bloc Quebecois and Green parties said they had been working since October to help former MPs like Nabizada break free from the Taliban’s “brutal sexist system”. where “no woman is safe”.

“A woman has died: a congresswoman, just like me,” NDP MP Heather McPherson, one of the MPs, told CTV News. “That woman died because we couldn’t get her to Canada fast enough.”

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau highlighted Canada’s longstanding involvement in Afghanistan when asked if his government would do more to help former Afghan lawmakers.

“We know there’s more work to be done and we will continue to work to make sure that the most vulnerable people can get out,” Trudeau told reporters. “At the same time, we have to realize that the Taliban don’t allow people to leave.”

Since Nabizada’s death, eight former congresswomen have remained in the country, which has been active in regaining basic freedoms for women and girls.

With files from the Canadian Press

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