This event will still be going ahead as scheduled either way, but in the meantime we need to flood the State Department and our Congressional representatives with phone-calls demanding the reversal of this flagrant and insulting act of censorship.
The U.S. Embassy this week denied famed Afghan women’s rights activist Malalai Joya a visa to the United States for an extensive speaking tour that was to kick off on Saturday March 19th. Americans are being denied the right to hear from an on-the-ground activist how the war is affecting ordinary Afghans, especially women.Read AWM’s press release about it here: http://www.afghanwomensmission.org/?p=1255
FOUR THINGS YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT:
1. Have your elected representatives sign onto a letter urging the U.S. Embassy to reconsider their decision – DEADLINE: Friday March 18th 5 pm EST.
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) has drafted and signed a letter urging the US Embassy to grant Malalai Joya the visa. A draft of the letter can be found here: http://www.afghanwomensmission.org/docs/McDermott_letter_Joya.pdf
Ask your Senator or Representative to add their names to this letter NO LATER THAN 5 pm EST on Friday March 18th. Have the staff in your Senator or Representative’s office contact Jessica Lee at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org. (Do not contact Ms. Lee yourself).
The more elected representatives that sign onto the letter, the greater the chance of that the U.S. Embassy will reverse their visa denial.
2. Sign an online petition demanding Malalai Joya be granted a visa to the United States
Click here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/letmalalaijoyaspeak/ to sign the petition. Then, send it to all your friends and post it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
3. Attend one of the many events organized for Malalai around the country
Whether she gets to the U.S. or not it is imperative that the events go on as scheduled. If she is unable to be physically present organizers will attempt to have her speak to the audience via live video chat. Transform the events into “free-speech” events, to affirm your right to hear from people like Malalai Joya.
Details of Malalai’s tour are here: http://www.afghanwomensmission.org/?p=1201.
4. Demand media coverage of Malalai’s Visa Denial
Contact local and national media urging them to cover Malalai Joya’s visa exclusion. The denial of a visa to Afghanistan’s most intrepid and well known feminist should make headlines! Point them to our press release for details.
CONTACT INFO to demand accountability and to allow Joya in the US to speak where she has been invited:
Secretary Hillary Clinton 202-647-5291
Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg 202-647-8636
Contact your own congress members:
The White House
You can also comment on the WH FaceBook page: