The U.S. government has denied a travel visa to Afghan women’s and democracy activist, Malalai Joya. In 2005, Joya became the youngest person ever elected to the Afghan parliament. She was suspended in 2007 for her denunciation of warlords and their cronies in government. Joya had been planning a three-week U.S. tour to promote a new edition of her memoir. Speaking to Democracy Now! in October 2009, Joya criticized President Obama’s escalation of the Afghan war.
Malalai Joya: “They say war of Afghanistan is good war, war of Iraq is bad war, while war is war and impossible to bring democracy, women rights, human rights by war. And unfortunately, Obama’s policy and Obama’s message for my people is quite similar, like his foreign policy like Bush administration. He wants to surge more troops in Afghanistan, which will bring more conflict, more war.”