Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Rights and Freedoms

This thematic category comprises of AAN’s reporting on human rights, including women’s rights, media freedom, rule of law, governance and democratisation.

A Request to Delay: Another Afghan government attempt to prevent an ICC war crimes investigation?

Ehsan Qaane

The Afghan government has submitted a request to the ICC Office of the Prosecutor to defer the ICC’s investigations in Afghanistan, on the grounds that domestic investigations are taking place into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity that occurred on Afghan soil. They argue this means there is no need for the ICC investigation. […]

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Photographs of some of the 5,000 victims forcibly disappeared by the PDPA government placed close to Pul-e Charkhi prison in Kabul where many mass graves have been discovered. Information about these victims has emerged as a result of Dutch investigations into war crimes and has brought solace to family members. Photo: Maina Abbasi/ December 2016

Afghan War Crimes Trials in The Netherlands: Who are the suspects and what have been the outcomes?

Ehsan Qaane

At least six Afghan, or Afghan-Dutch, citizens have been investigated for war crimes and torture in Afghanistan by the Dutch authorities. Two were found guilty and received prison sentences, one was acquitted, one died during the investigation, one was investigated but released due to insufficient evidence, and the sixth is still under investigation. All were […]

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Child Rights Protection Law in Afghanistan: Can the parliamentary chaos be resolved?

Rohullah Sorush

Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament, the Wolesi Jirga, has been failing to reach a consensus on a law that would protect children’s rights for almost four years. The legislation is aimed at ensuring children’s rights are implemented in government ministries and bodies in a wide range of areas, from protecting children from abuse and malnutrition to […]

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War Crimes Investigation in Afghanistan by the ICC: It’s happening. What will it mean?

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has authorised an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity occurring in Afghanistan since 2003, by the Taleban, and United States and Afghan government forces. The investigation will also cover crimes related to the Afghan conflict that took place on the territory of other ICC member states, thereby bringing […]

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Freed at Last: Three Afghans sent to Guantanamo in 2002 and 2003 are finally home

Kate Clark

Three Afghans, who were detained and rendered to the US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay in 2002 and 2003, and then transferred to the United Arab Emirates 2016 and what turned out to be further incarceration, have been released. Obaidullah and Mohammed Karim from Khost and Hamidullah from Kabul have also been allowed to return […]

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

Ehsan Qaane Sari Kouvo

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 […]

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Afghan Sportswomen: Courage, hurdles and harassment

Rohullah Sorush

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 […]

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Presidential Pardons: Trump sets his seal on a record of US impunity in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

Donald Trump has given a presidential pardon to three members of the American military for crimes they were accused or convicted of carrying out while on service in Afghanistan or Iraq. The pardons have raised questions as to whether there will be consequences for US behaviour on the battlefield and possibly also at the International […]

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Part of the compound of Naim Faruki, who was killed on 30 December 2018 in Zurmat, Paktia, allegedly by the Khost Protection Force. His brother described how, before the strike force entered, the compound wall was detonated by a bomb or a rocket - the family was not sure.

CIA-backed Afghan paramilitaries accused of grave abuses: new Human Rights Watch report

Kate Clark

Human Rights Watch has released a hard-hitting report about CIA-backed Afghan paramilitaries which documents their alleged involvement in extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and attacks on medical facilities. The report also details changes in the United States targeting rules which, Human Rights Watch says, have led to indiscriminate airstrikes being called in by these forces, causing […]

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Will the ICC Start an Investigation in Afghanistan after all? What we know so far about the ICC appeals hearing

Ehsan Qaane Sari Kouvo

After the startling rejection in April by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of the prosecutors’ request to launch an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, there has been a flurry of appeals by both prosecutor and victims. Some of these will be heard in December at the Appeals Chamber of the […]

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Beginning of a New Era at the AIHRC: Nine fresh commissioners

Ehsan Qaane

The National Unity Government has finally, after 13 painful months mulling the matter over, appointed nine new commissioners to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). The new chair is Shaharzad Akbar, a well-known human rights activist, who has served as a deputy at the National Security Council on peace, protection of civilians and fallen […]

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Civilians at Greater Risk from Pro-government Forces: While peace seems more elusive?

Jelena Bjelica Rachel Reid

After a Ramadan stained with violence, peace seems remote. Both sides have intensified the tempo of the conflict, with civilians paying a heavy price. While the Taleban appear to be exercising more care with some tactics that protect civilians, they continue to unlawfully target civilians with others, as recent attacks demonstrate. The US and Afghan […]

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