‘Someone will kill me’: former Afghan MP fears her fate if she can’t come to Canada | TBEN news

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In less than two years, Gulalai Mohammadi has gone from Afghanistan’s youngest MP to a life in hiding under the Taliban — and a constant fear of becoming the next prominent Afghan woman to be murdered.

“Even at night I can’t sleep very well because I think someone will come and someone will kill me too,” she said in an interview with TBEN’s The House.

Last Sunday, a woman whom Mohammadi considered “a sister” – 29-year-old former Afghan MP Mursal Nabizada – was shot dead along with her bodyguard in Kabul. Police have said they are investigating the murders.

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“She has done nothing wrong,” said Mohammadi, who last saw her friend three weeks before her death. Mohammadi said she believes her fellow ex-MP was targeted in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan because she was a high-profile woman.

Both women were part of a group of nine ex-legislators who hoped to come to Canada. Politicians in this country have been arguing since the fall to bring the women here.

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Since Nabizada’s death, the drive to free the remaining eight women has taken on “an incredible sense of urgency,” said Corey Levine, a human rights lawyer who has been working with Canadian politicians to try to get the former lawmakers here.

The women were encouraged to participate in public life by the international community, including Canada, Levine said.

“Now they live in fear. And it’s time for the international community to act,” she said.

A Taliban fighter stands guard as a woman walks by in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Dec. 26, 2022. A group of parliamentarians from all parties is calling on the Canadian government to help former female legislators in Afghanistan get to safety. (Ebrahim Noroozi/The The Bharat Express News)

Immigration Secretary Sean Fraser told CBCs Power & Politics on Thursday that the cases of these female legislators are among those the government is working on to determine whether to accommodate them.

“But there’s a fundamental issue that people need to understand about how the process of bringing refugees to Canada works. I’m not sitting in my office pointing and choosing,” he said.

Fraser said the government is working with international organizations, including the United Nations, to determine the vulnerability of individual refugees.

“Letting me bypass the process by selecting certain individuals is not how the process works in this initiative or other refugee resettlement initiatives,” he added.

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Ottawa will “do what we can to ensure safe passage for those already cleared to come to Canada,” Immigration Minister Sean Fraser told Power & Politics after Afghan MP Mursal Nabizada was killed by gunmen this weekend.

The federal government has pledged to send 40,000 Afghan refugees to Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says that as of August 2021, 27,345 Afghans have arrived here under various programs.

Fraser’s comments about the process amount to an “apology,” said Conservative MP Alex Ruff, who is part of the party parliamentary group of MPs trying to bring the women to Canada.

“I disagree with his reluctance to resolve this matter personally, using his authority under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. He has the option to grant an exemption,” said Ruff, who served in the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

The women are “arguably most at risk because they represent everything the Taliban regime hates,” he added.

TBEN News: The House10:35 amOne of Afghanistan’s eight remaining female MPs speaks out

Gulalai Mohammadi, one of Afghanistan’s eight remaining female MPs, tells host Catherine Cullen about her fear for her life.

‘There I will be free’

Mohammadi said she has been leading a restricted life since the Taliban’s recent decision to ban women from universities. She said she was forced to finish her studies and now rarely leaves the house. When she does, she said, she wears a burqa.

The 28-year-old dreams of returning to her studies and advocacy in Canada.

“Because if I raise my voice here in Afghanistan, both me and my family are in danger. I can’t do anything special. But there I’m free and I can do something for women’s rights,” she said. .

When asked if she had a message for the Canadian government, Mohammadi focused on the needs of all women in Afghanistan.

“They are being erased from everything, including their basic rights,” she said. “I kindly ask the Canadian government and people to stand with the women of Afghanistan at this important time.”