Rights & Freedoms

ICC rejects war crimes investigation in Afghanistan: Continuing impunity for perpetrators, no voice yet for victims

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has decided not to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity that have allegedly taken place on Afghan soil. The Court’s Chief Prosecutor, after finding that there was evidence of the Taleban committing a range of crimes, including murder and intentionally attacking civilians, and of Afghan government forces and the […]

What’s in a Woman’s Name? No name, no public persona

Across Afghanistan, women are not addressed or referred to by their names in public. Even on wedding invitations and tombstones, they are typically referred to as the daughter, wife or mother of their father, husband or eldest son. Many Afghans believe naming a woman in public dishonours her. Others are arguing that a tradition that […]

The 2018 Election Observed (3) in Kunduz: A Very Violent E-Day

Kunduz province faced serious security issues during and after Election Day. The turnout was far lower than expected. This was mainly due to an almost unprecedented level of Taleban violence compared to most other provinces on that day. Three districts were deprived of their rights to vote in their entirety, while six others had a […]

Election Day One: A rural-urban divide emerging

Afghanistan’s third post-Taleban parliamentary elections have started slowly, with a lot of technical chaos and significant fighting in a number of provinces. Polling hours have now been extended. Even in many areas of Kabul, polling centres had not opened by 9:30am. There are widespread reports of a lack of polling material, electoral staff being unfamiliar […]

New Commissioners for the AIHRC: 390 applications for nine positions

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), set up in 2002 as part of the Bonn Agreement, is to get a new set of commissioners. How to choose them has proved difficult. Before, the president just appointed whom he wanted. Now, a new procedure aimed at greater transparency has ended up being slow and clumsy. The […]

Widespread Violence yet Perpetrators go Unpunished: A new UN report on violence against Afghan women

Violence against women – be it murder, beatings, mutilation, child marriage, the giving away of girls in marriage to resolve disputes (baad) or other harmful practices – remains widespread throughout Afghanistan, despite the government’s efforts to criminalise such practices, the UN has found. Its new report highlights how mediation by government and traditional actors, which […]

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