OBSERVER: PRO BONINO


The Financial Times

Emma Bonino, the maverick Italian politician who is now a member of the European parliament, is set to lead an EU observer mission to monitor parliamentary elections in Afghanistan in September.

Back in 1997, during her spell as a chain-smoking and intransigent EU human rights commissioner, Bonino famously triggered a diplomatic crisis after getting herself arrested during a visit to a hospital in Afghanistan and denouncing the conditions there.

The arrest, somewhat fortuitously filmed live by a CNN television crew, helped heighten tensions between the Taliban regime and the EU.

Bonino is of course heading back to Kabul to observe, but will she be able to resist another close encounter with the authorities - and media?