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.

Freeing the ‘Guantanamo Five’ 2: Kafka in Cuba

Kate Clark

Five Taleban prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, whose release is a key demand of the Taleban, prior to/as part of peace talks, have said they are willing to be transferred to Qatar. President Karzai had said they had to be handed over to his government, but after a high level visit by Afghan officials, both Taleban […]

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Releasing the Guantanamo Five? 1: Biographies of the Prisoners (amended)

Kate Clark

Releasing Taleban from Guantanamo Bay is on the agenda – in the context of finding a negotiated end to the conflict. Four senior and one junior Taleban official may be freed, or exchanged for the captured US soldier, Bowe Bergdahl. The idea has caused consternation among some in the US Congress, as well as consternation […]

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Women’s Day in Afghanistan: Where the ‘Personal is still Political’

Sari Kouvo

International Women’s Day is a good opportunity to reflect on the legal advances made by Afghan women over the past decade and what challenges remain to turn laws on paper into reality. It is particularly needed after the President’s endorsement of the recent Ulama Council statement that, among a number of other points, addresses Afghan […]

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Protests and Factional Conflict in Sarepul

Thomas Ruttig

Since 8 December last year, demonstrations are continuing in Sarepul. While this remote northern province has been one of the areas least affected by the insurgency for many years, of late it has been pulled into the vortex of the Northern insurgency, too. But the protests have a different background: their origins lie in local […]

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Women and Reconciliation (4): A Response to Anatol Lieven’s Afghan Books Review

Sari Kouvo

Never propose a political system or solution for anybody that you could not live with yourself, not even for women. AAN’s Sari Kouvo comments on Anatol Lieven’s review ‘Afghanistan: The Best Way to Peace’ in the February 2012 issue of the New York Review of Books and notes that Lieven’s ‘best way’ for women is […]

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What Next for the AIHRC (2): Civil Society Responses

Sari Kouvo

When three of the nine members of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) were removed by President Hamed Karzai in December, it laid bare the fragile position of human rights activism in Afghanistan. In AAN’s second blog* on the removal of the AIHRC Commissioners, Sari Kouvo takes a look at how the President’s move […]

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Another Blow to Justice: Three Commissioners Fired from the AIHRC

Thomas Ruttig

Three of the nine members of Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), one of the most successful, outspoken and internationally venerated institutions of post-Taleban Afghanistan, are losing their posts. What has been declared as a normal process, of bringing fresh blood into the commission, smells very political, though. It rather looks as if this is […]

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The Past is Here to Stay: Listening to Afghan Voices on Justice and Reconciliation

Sari Kouvo

The abuses and violations suffered by Afghans during the conflicts are all but forgotten, and although pragmatic about what is possible in the current security environment, Afghans seem to view reconciliation and justice as intimately linked. AAN’s Sari Kouvo takes a look at recent publications by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) documenting Afghan […]

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Guest Blog: Right and Justice Party – possible trail-blazer for an Afghan centrism (AMENDED)

Ahmad Shuja

We have already reported about the latest addition to the Afghan political party landscape, Hezb-e Haq wa Edalat (Right and Justice Party), which had been launched in Kabul on 3 November. This is an Afghan take on the new party, by our guest blogger Ahmad Shuja* who argues that it is stepping into new territory […]

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Afghan women prisoners listen to their teacher in a class in the women's section of the Herat prison on August 16, 2009. AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI (Photo by BEHROUZ MEHRI / AFP)

Mothers behind Bars: What about the Children?

Sari Kouvo

Growing up with few evident opportunities and with conflict constantly lurking at the door is the reality for most Afghan children and youth. A group that gets more than its fair share of brick walls and violence are the children that grow up with their mothers in prison. AAN’s Sari Kouvo and Naheed Esar Malikzay […]

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NDS Torture: UN Report Makes Bleak Reading

Kate Clark

UNAMA has released a major report on torture in National Directorate of Security (NDS) and police detention. For those of us who have worked on war crimes investigations post-1978, it makes desolate reading. The places of torture and many of the methods are familiar from testimony from victims of previous governments, including the Taleban’s. What […]

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The first Human Rights Film Festival in Afghanistan; a collection of inhuman true stories

Naheed Esar Malikzay

‘There are about 33 human rights film festivals around the world, however, none of them taking place in the very Middle Eastern or Central Asian Countries which are gravely affected by human right violations’, the director of AHRF (Autumn Human Rights Film Festival) Malek Shafi’i told reporters. For the first time, from 1-7 of October, […]

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