Dispatches

Legal Arguments and War Crimes: the ICC Appeals Hearing on Afghanistan in Five Questions

The judges of the International Criminal Court’s Appeals Chamber are now deciding whether to authorise an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly perpetrated in Afghanistan. The court’s Pre-Trial Chamber decided in April to reject such an investigation. At the appeal hearing, everyone who spoke agreed that crimes severe enough for the ICC […]

Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (26): A Q&A about the ongoing election stalemate

The aftermath of Afghanistan’s 2019 presidential election has now dragged on for 72 days. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has missed two dates for the announcement of preliminary results and is 50 days behind its original election timetable. The commission has not decided yet when it will announce the results. Meanwhile, the IEC’s audit and […]

Afghan Sportswomen: Courage, hurdles and harassment

Afghan sportswomen have become a symbol of change for many in Afghanistan, representing hope for a more egalitarian society with greater opportunities for girls and women. For others, they are a symbol of western imperialism that is bringing change and undermining Afghan society and culture, turning women away from their families and traditional roles. For […]

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (24): Disputed recount, threats not to accept results, and some interesting new data

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has overruled the demand by most of the presidential candidates to invalidate around 300,000 out of the 1.8 million votes (about 16 per cent) from the 28 September president election. Critics wanted these excluded before the IEC started auditing and recounting the votes from 8,255 ‘problematic’ polling stations. However, the […]

A Maelstrom of Militias: Takhar, a case study of strongmen co-opting the ALP

When the Ministry of Interior officials and human rights activists are asked where the worst Afghan Local Police (ALP) are, Takhar province is usually on the list. The reasons given are the enduring power of local strongmen over the force and the involvement of ALP units in crime, especially drug smuggling, and abuses of the […]

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