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.

Women and Reconciliation (3): One Step Forward and a Running Match Backwards

Sari Kouvo

This week three major reports about women’s participation in a possible peace process and their stake in the future of Afghanistan were released. The key messages of the reports are that women’s achievements are fragile, and that they are now eroding. AAN’s Sari Kouvo had a look at the Afghanistan Women’s Network’s, ActionAid’s and OXFAM’s […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Nobel Peace Prize: Not Sima, Again

Thomas Ruttig

Congratulations to Tawakul Karman from Yemen and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee from Liberia for this year’s Nobel Peace Price. The citation given by the Swedish committee that awards the prize is also to the point: it was given for the three laureats’ ‘non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Women’s Rights after 2001: Progress, but much of it on paper only

Thomas Ruttig

Ten years ago on 7 October, the first US bombs fell on Afghanistan – the ouverture to the US-led international intervention on Afghanistan. Thomas Ruttig, an AAN Senior Analyst, interviewed AIHRC commissioner Dr Soraya Rahim Sobhrang* to get her view on the balance of this intervention, with a particular focus on women’s rights. AAN: When […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Pashto Women’s Poetry – A Mirror of their Social Status?

Naheed Esar Malikzay

“My love will gather us both together on the day of resurrection Brutes have placed stones between us in this world.” – On Friday, 16 September, the Mirman Baheer Association, a Pashtun women’s socio-cultural network, met in Kabul.* It was the third gathering of Pashto women poets by the Association and it brought together more […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Women and Reconciliation (2): The Dangers of Representing Women as Victims

Deborah Smith

Why are the voices and everyday experiences of Afghanistan’s rural, urban poor and working class women still so rarely heard? Why do they continue to be (re)presented as a homogeneous group of victims of their own families, communities and traditions? In this guest blog, Deborah Smith* argues that it is important to move away from […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Acting on Old News? NATO Suspends Detainee Transfers in Afghanistan

Sari Kouvo

NATO has temporarily suspended detainee transfers to a number of detention centers in Afghanistan. This decision was taken pending the release of a so far unreleased UN report that is said to document mistreatment and torture in Afghan detention centers. AAN’s Sari Kouvo* ponders how this can be breaking news for NATO and ISAF troop […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Where Fear has Replaced Trust: Some Reflections after the World Humanitarian Day in Afghanistan

Sari Kouvo

Probably not so many of us know, but on 19 August, we celebrated the World Humanitarian Day. On that day, AAN’s Sari Kouvo and Naheed Esar Malikzay stumbled into a small ceremony in Kabul celebrating humanitarian work* and were inspired to explore the situation of Afghan humanitarian and development workers.** The stories Sari and Naheed […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Where criminals forgive themselves

Fabrizio Foschini

The Afghan Civil Society Forum (ACSFo) today released a report titled ‘How People Define Violence and Justice in Afghanistan (1958 – 2008)’. Prepared by ACSFo with the funding of the Heinrich-Bӧll-Stiftung, the report provides a valuable insight into Afghans’ perceptions of these two concepts, drawn by their extensive experience of at least the first of […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Guest Blog: Let’s Remember Afghanistan on International Criminal Justice Day

Ajmal Pashtoonyar

Last year in Kampala (Uganda), the Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to celebrate 17 July as the Day of International Criminal Justice, to commemorate the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (adopted 1998). As we celebrate International Criminal Justice Day, Ajmal Pashtoonyar* takes the opportunity […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Victims Organisations Sound a Wake-up Call

Sari Kouvo

AAN continues its analysis of civil society’s role in and ability to influence the processes unfolding in Afghanistan. AAN’s Sari Kouvo and Obaid Ali participated in the National Victims Conference held in Kabul 30-31 March. The National Victims’ Conference held in Kabul 30-31 March brought together representatives from victims and martyrs organizations, civil society and […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

First Flickers of an Afghan Facebook Reform Movement

Gran Hewad

After the revolution in Egypt and Tunisia in which Facebook played a key role, young Afghan Facebook users have started to establish their own pages to organise anti-government protest. They have chosen corruption and reform as their rallying issues. AAN’s Gran Hewad went to the first press conference of one of the reformist groupings but […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Stories people tell (2): Bagram prison; not a single good day

Martine van Bijlert

There are so many stories of people who get caught up in the nightly operations by American and Afghan forces. In the search for ‘kill & capture’ targets the net is cast wide: once a door is kicked in all males in a household are usually taken for interrogation. And it is then anyone’s guess […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more