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Ousted Afghan Deputy Vows To Stay On Hunger Strike


WATCH: Ousted Afghan member of parliament Simeen Barakzai speaks to RFE/RL while on hunger strike in Kabul.

KABUL -- A female Afghan lawmaker expelled from parliament over vote-rigging claims says she will continue her hunger strike despite warnings from doctors, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports.

Simeen Barakzai is now nine days into a hunger strike to demand she be able to take up her parliamentary seat.

Speaking in a weak voice, Barakzai told RFE/RL on October 9 that she will not eat or drink anything until she is reinstated.

"I have documents and evidence, I won't stop," she said. "I'm on strike because there is no rule of law or justice. As an Afghan woman, I couldn't accept this anymore."

Doctors monitoring Barakzai have said she is entering a critical condition. But Barakzai says she is resolute and will observe her strike until death.

Barakzai was among nine lawmakers from the national assembly who were removed by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in August in a bid to end a dispute over who should occupy seats in the Afghan parliament.

The saga has continued for more than one year after elections were marred by widespread fraud.

Sixty-two losing candidates challenged the election results in a special court. Earlier this summer the court declared them winners, saying 62 lawmakers should be unseated.

But the Independent Election Commission in August decided to replace only nine lawmakers, including Barakzai.
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