Author Archives: Sari Kouvo

About Sari Kouvo

Dismantling Human Rights in Afghanistan: The AIHRC facing a possible downgrading of status

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) “has been until now”, said Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), “a critical, credible institution.” That ‘until now’ is significant: Pillay was visiting Afghanistan partly to discuss the risk to the Commission of losing its ‘A status’ when it comes up for international […]

“Tell Us How This Ends”; Discussing Transitional Justice

AAN’s latest report ‘Tell Us How This Ends: Transitional Justice and Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan’ asks whether, after 35 years of conflict, Afghanistan can move forward without addressing the legacies of its violent past. The report includes an overview of war crimes and human rights violations from the Communist putsch in 1978 to the […]

AIHRC Commissioners Finally Announced

Finally, the new commissioners for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) have been announced. The announcement comes 19 months after President Hamed Karzai unilaterally removed three Commissioners in December 2011, with another killed in a Taleban attack and a fifth dismissed. The movement after such a long time on these long overdue appointments has […]

Transfers and Torture: The British Army halts transfers of detainees to the NDS

President Karzai has warned British forces that they must hand detainees over and may not hold any detainees themselves. The warning follows a British government decision to stop all transfers after a former UK detainee, Sardar Mohammed, challenged their legality, given the risk of torture by the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS). Sardar Mohammed […]

New Commissioners for Human Rights: An End to the Standstill, or an End to Human Rights? [Amended]

A reshuffle of the commissioners of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) seems to be moving closer. However, the criteria along which new candidates are chosen remain unclear and subject to (factional) politicking. There is a grave danger that human rights concerns will fall victim to these unrelated considerations. At least four new appointments […]

The Mud Might Stick: Women’s Shelters Again

On 17 June, the Minister of Justice, Habibullah Ghaleb, said that women’s shelters were safe havens for immorality and prostitution. He was later to apologize after stirring up fierce debate in Afghan media and elsewhere about women’s shelters and provoking defences of shelters by activists, the Women’s Affairs Minister and his own deputy. Nevertheless, says […]

A Slippery Slope: What Happened to Women’s Rights in March 2012?

March was an interesting month for women’s rights in Afghanistan: President Hamed Karzai endorsed a statement by the National Ulema Council according to which women are worth less than men; the Afghan government launched its first report under the Convention on the Elimination on all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) that, while focusing on […]

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