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.

Where Are My Rights? Afghan retirees appeal for their pensions

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Jelena Bjelica

Afghanistan’s retired public sector employees have not received their pensions since the toppling of the Republic and the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in August 2021. In the almost three years since then, their pleas to the government to start paying what is their due have fallen on deaf ears. In April this […]

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Bostan Karim (L) and Abdul Zahir (C), two former prisoners held at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, arrive at Kabul airport in Kabul airport. Photo: AFP, 12 February 2024

Home at Last: After more than 20 years, two former inmates of Guantanamo reach Afghanistan

Kate Clark

Two more Afghan former inmates of the United States’ Guantanamo detention camp have finally returned home after more than two decades incarcerated or in exile. Abdul Zahir from Logar was detained by US forces and rendered to Guantanamo in July 2002, while Bostan Karim from Paktia was arrested by Pakistan a month later and handed […]

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The Daily Hustle: Mission impossible – the quest for passports and visas in Afghanistan

AAN Team Roxanna Shapour

Afghans who got onto evacuation lists may have the chance to go to Europe or North America, if they can get passports and visas for Pakistan. Their first dilemma is whether to go; it is not easy leaving one’s homeland. But there is a second dilemma – whether to spend savings or go into debt to get the […]

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Dreams Deferred (Again): The last remaining Afghan in Guantanamo loses his latest bid for freedom

Kate Clark

The last Afghan still held in Guantanamo, Muhammad Rahim from Nangrahar province, has failed in his latest attempt to persuade the United States authorities to release him. The US continues to assert that he was a translator, courier and facilitator for al-Qaeda leaders and even though it is more than two years since US forces […]

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New UN Report Charts the Emirate’s Treatment of Detainees: Allegations of torture and ill-treatment

Kate Clark

UNAMA has released its first report dedicated to the treatment of detainees since the Taleban takeover and alleges that the use of torture by the police and General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) is “systemic.” The report details methods of torture familiar to earlier generations of detainees – electric shocks, beating and suspension – but also […]

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What Do Young Afghan Women Do? A glimpse into everyday life after the bans

Jelena Bjelica AAN Team

Since coming to power, the Taleban authorities have issued many edicts, decrees, declarations and directives limiting, restricting, suspending or banning basic freedoms for women and girls. Afghan women are no longer free to go to public parks, gyms and other public spaces and are banned from boarding planes and leaving the country on their own; they cannot […]

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An American flag seen through a broken window from inside a vacant airplane hangar used by the media at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp (picture reviewed by US military). Photo: Brennan Linsley/Pool/AFP, 16 July 2009.

The Last Afghan in Guantanamo: Pressure mounts on US to deal with the remnants of its ‘War on Terror’ 

Kate Clark

It is more than three years since the United States signed its peace deal with the Taleban and almost two since the last American soldier left Afghanistan. Yet the US still insists that the last Afghan it holds in relation to that war – at its prison camp in Guantanamo – would be a threat […]

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From Land-grabbing to Haircuts: The decrees and edicts of the Taleban supreme leader 

Kate Clark

The decrees, edicts and instructions of Taleban supreme leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, from 2016, when he became leader, to May 2023, have been published. They make fascinating reading, tracing some of what the leadership felt was important to ban, make obligatory, organise or administer during the insurgency and since recapturing power. Some themes are repeated […]

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The Daily Hustle: Running a home school for girls

Roxanna Shapour

The Taleban made their move against education for older girls about a month after they took over Afghanistan when they ordered secondary schools for boys to re-open, but made no mention of girls. Since then, there have been a few instances of false hope, notably in March 2022 when the government reneged on its promise […]

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Gender Persecution in Afghanistan: Could it come under the ICC’s Afghanistan investigation?

Ehsan Qaane

Since their return to power in August 2021, the Taleban have enacted successive laws and orders which apply to women and girls, but not to men and boys. Earlier this month, United Nations experts reported their assessment that these measures violated women and girls’ rights to education, work, freedom of movement, health, bodily autonomy and […]

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Lashing, Beating, Stoning: UNAMA tracks corporal punishment and the death penalty in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

A new United Nations report on capital and corporal punishment has detailed the widespread use of corporal punishment delivered ad hoc by non-judicial authorities, such as the police and ‘Vice and Virtue’ officials. It also documents a rise in corporal punishment ordered by judges since November 2022 when the Taleban’s Supreme Leader encouraged the use […]

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Hearts Turned Away from Music: Afghan musicians’ paths to exile

Fabrizio Foschini

A year and a half after the Taleban takeover, music has completely disappeared from Afghan streets, TV channels, radios, cars and wedding halls. It barely survives in more personal and subdued forms and volumes – inside a house with tightly closed windows or shutters, inside headphones on one’s smartphone. The world, and Afghanistan more so, […]

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