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.

The Intra-Afghan Peace Talks: Warring parties negotiate, victims of war are excluded

Ehsan Qaane

A clear divide has emerged in the Afghan government on the role of war victims in the peace process. In a surprising move, President Ashraf Ghani recently suggested that Afghanistan should follow the Spanish model – better known as the ‘pact of forgetting’. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Peace and members of the Afghan negotiating team […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Is the Citizens’ Charter the Right Vehicle for Reconciliation? The risks of monetising peace

Jelena Bjelica

The Citizens’ Charter is a community-driven development programme, currently implemented in one third of Afghanistan, which is seen as key means of reducing poverty. However, there are pilots planned that will stretch this ambitious programme beyond its economic goals, to use it as a vehicle for peace. AAN’s Jelena Bjelica looks at the mixed achievements of […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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. […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more