Rights & Freedoms

The Takhar Case: London judge dismisses claim on targeted killings

A judge in London has decided that a case related to targeted killings in Afghanistan will not go forward to judicial review – the procedure by which a court judges the legality of a particular action or policy by the British state as it affects an individual claimant. The case which the judge dismissed focussed on the […]

The Nerkh Killings: The problem with ‘immunity’ for US soldiers

Revelations concerning the alleged involvement of US soldiers in the forced disappearance, murder and torture of Afghans in the Nerkh district of Wardak a year ago keep surfacing. The US insists its forces come only under US legal jurisdiction, that they are ‘immune’ from Afghan courts and that it will investigate any wrongdoing by its […]

On the Run without Aid: The much delayed policy on Afghanistan’s internally displaced

Much has been reported on the plight of Afghanistan’s internally displaced persons (IDPs), their miserable life in informal settlements, and their lack of access to income, education and health care. Actions, however, have been scarce, both nationally and internationally. They have been often humanitarian in nature only and mostly short term. This is also because the […]

A Leader Apologises: General Dostum, elections and war crimes

For the first time, a senior Afghan has made a public apology to those of his compatriots who suffered during the war. General Abdul Rashid Dostum, leader of the largely Uzbek Jombesh party / ex military faction, made the statement a day after registering as running mate to Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the presidential elections. […]

The ‘Other Guantanamo’ 7: Foreigners in limbo at Bagram

When wars end, military detainees have to be released. Yet at the end of 2014 when President Obama has said the war in Afghanistan will “come to an end”, it is still completely unclear what will happen to the more than 60 non-Afghans held by the United States military at Bagram Airbase. Most were detained […]

Death List Published: Families of disappeared end a 30 year wait for news

This week some Afghan families have finally been able to hold a fateha (mourning ceremony) for fathers, brothers and sons who disappeared more than thirty years ago. Evidence of the fate of their relatives came with the publication by the Dutch prosecutor’s office of a list of almost 5000 people killed during the first 20 […]

The Other Fold of the Turban: Afghanistan’s Hindus and Sikhs

Recent efforts to reserve a seat in the Wolesi Jirga (the lower house of the parliament) for the Hindus and Sikhs of Afghanistan have rekindled some interest in this tiny religious minority. Included in the draft of the electoral law, the issue was rejected by the parliament in July, but has been re-enforced on 3 […]

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 […]

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