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 War with no End in Sight: The backlashes regarding Afghan women’s rights (amended)

Sari Kouvo

A man cuts off the nose and lips of his wife. He does this because his wife refuses to give him her jewelry to buy drugs, and he does it in front of the couple’s children. This happened on 13 December in Herat, and rightly so, the incident received considerable media and civil society attention. […]

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65 “Innocent” / “Dangerous” Detainees Released From Bagram: What secret documents say about Afghan and US claims

Kate Clark

Today, Thursday, 13 February, the Afghan authorities have released 65 detainees from the Bagram Detention Facility. The Afghan government says they are “suffering innocents” who were illegally detained by the United States military. The US says they are dangerous men with Afghan or foreign blood on their hands who should be going to court, not […]

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Continuing Conflict Is Not Victory: What the 2013 UNAMA civilian casualties report tells us about the war

Kate Clark

The conflict in Afghanistan is now overwhelmingly Afghan versus Afghan – this is one of the conclusions to be drawn from UNAMA’s 2013 Protection of Civilians report. 8,615 civilians were killed or wounded during 2013 and only three per cent of those by the international military forces. Counting deaths and injuries together, 2013 was more […]

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The Takhar Case: London judge dismisses claim on targeted killings

Kate Clark

A judge in London has decided that a case related to targeted killings in Afghanistan will not go forward to judicial review – the procedure by which a court judges the legality of a particular action or policy by the British state as it affects an individual claimant. The case which the judge dismissed focussed on the […]

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A ‘Jihad on the Media’? Afghan journalists face the storm in insecure legal waters

Wazhma Samandary

Since the beginning of this year, pressure on the Afghan media has been increasing. It is coming from two fronts: politicians and officials who claim that any critical reporting of them (or people of their ‘class’) is “defamation” and a “disruption of the social order”, and from Islamic scholars and MPs who are repeatedly using heated rhetoric […]

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The Nerkh Killings: The problem with ‘immunity’ for US soldiers

Kate Clark

Revelations concerning the alleged involvement of US soldiers in the forced disappearance, murder and torture of Afghans in the Nerkh district of Wardak a year ago keep surfacing. The US insists its forces come only under US legal jurisdiction, that they are ‘immune’ from Afghan courts and that it will investigate any wrongdoing by its […]

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A Leader Apologises: General Dostum, elections and war crimes

Kate Clark

For the first time, a senior Afghan has made a public apology to those of his compatriots who suffered during the war. General Abdul Rashid Dostum, leader of the largely Uzbek Jombesh party / ex military faction, made the statement a day after registering as running mate to Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the presidential elections. […]

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The ‘Other Guantanamo’ 7: Foreigners in limbo at Bagram

Kate Clark

When wars end, military detainees have to be released. Yet at the end of 2014 when President Obama has said the war in Afghanistan will “come to an end”, it is still completely unclear what will happen to the more than 60 non-Afghans held by the United States military at Bagram Airbase. Most were detained […]

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Death List Published: Families of disappeared end a 30 year wait for news

Kate Clark

This week some Afghan families have finally been able to hold a fateha (mourning ceremony) for fathers, brothers and sons who disappeared more than thirty years ago. Evidence of the fate of their relatives came with the publication by the Dutch prosecutor’s office of a list of almost 5000 people killed during the first 20 […]

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The Other Fold of the Turban: Afghanistan’s Hindus and Sikhs

Fabrizio Foschini

Recent efforts to reserve a seat in the Wolesi Jirga (the lower house of the parliament) for the Hindus and Sikhs of Afghanistan have rekindled some interest in this tiny religious minority. Included in the draft of the electoral law, the issue was rejected by the parliament in July, but has been re-enforced on 3 […]

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Dismantling Human Rights in Afghanistan: The AIHRC facing a possible downgrading of status

Kate Clark Sari Kouvo

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) “has been until now”, said Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), “a critical, credible institution.” That ‘until now’ is significant: Pillay was visiting Afghanistan partly to discuss the risk to the Commission of losing its ‘A status’ when it comes up for international […]

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Land Grabs (2): Deh Sabz, the new and the old

Fabrizio Foschini

Kuchi nomads on their way to becoming sedentary and foreign and local investors planning a prestigious Kabul New City development project end up competing for the same piece of land. A recent, dramatic fire fight between the Kabul police and the armed supporters of a Kuchi leader in Deh Sabz sounded like an alarm bell […]

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