A small left-wing organisation, it barely registers as a force in a national political life dominated by patronage networks and heavyweight power brokers; it boycotted the last two elections to the lower house of parliament and has just one senator in the upper house. Barr, from Human Rights Watch, said that researchers have also said their access to government figures and information has been curbed. Outlets, including the respected Pajhwok news agency, have been referred by the government's Media Monitoring Commission to the attorney general's office, he added. The Solidarity Party angered powerful politicians with a demonstration in late April accusing a swathe of Afghan leaders, former leaders and commanders of committing war crimes over the last three decades of conflict, and demanding they be brought to justice. The party courted controversy with the march by holding it on a national holiday commemorating the victory of mujahideen fighters over Soviet troops, and burning pictures in the street of the men they consider war criminals. But its suspension sends a chilling message about shrinking government tolerance for dissent. The ban comes shortly after the committee to protect journalists warned that several Afghan media organisations could face criminal charges over their reporting on an alleged bribery scandal, and said the profession was under "political and economic pressure". The Solidarity Party is gearing up for a fight.
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