Female former Afghan lawmakers, judges meet Greek PM

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Greece Afghanistan (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Greece Afghanistan (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Six female former lawmakers and judges from Afghanistan were received Friday by Greece’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis after fleeing their homeland in the wake of the Taliban takeover.

The three former lawmakers and three former judges arrived in September, assisted by Greek and international charities, and are expected to be resettled in other European countries. They met with Greece’s first female president, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, earlier this week.

Afghanistan’s twin-chamber parliament was effectively dissolved after the Taliban seized control of the country in August. The future of the national assembly and the question of whether women will be allowed to hold any positions of authority remain uncertain.

The Greek government has taken a tough line on illegal immigration, and recently announced plans to hire more border guards in an effort to deter Afghan migrants from reaching the European Union.

In Washington Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken thanked Greece for sheltering the former lawmakers. He made the remarks after a meeting with visiting Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Among the former parliament members present Friday was Shagufa Noorzai from Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province.

Speaking at an event in Athens to promote democracy earlier this month, she vowed to try to continue helping Afghan women.

“We struggled for 20 years, but this all, I think, went to zero. We lost. They killed our thoughts, our freedom of expression,” she said. “Our country has darkened.”

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