Ousted Afghan M.P. in Critical Condition

Thirty-year-old mother of three Semin Barakzai has been on a hunger strike outside Afghanistan’s Parliament ever since being expelled 11 days ago, along with eight other M.P.s, on charges of vote rigging, and her health is now in serious risk. The former M.P. is insisting on the legitimacy of her election, and she’s garnered support from a number of M.P.s, officials, and activists. Nilofar Ibrahimi, a member of the Afghan parliament, has joined the strike. Hunger strikes, particularly for women, are uncommon in Afghanistan, where complaints and frustrations are more commonly voiced through violence. “We ask the president to solve this problem in a way that her protest should bring a result,” said the Free and Fair Election Foundation’s Jandad Spinghar. “We want the culture of peaceful protests to expand, especially for women, instead of self-immolation and violence.”