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.

Written in Ice? Protests after the public execution of a woman in Parwan

Obaid Ali

There have been fresh demonstrations condemning the public execution of a young woman, Najiba, in a Taleban-controlled village in a province just to the north of Kabul – in June. The video of the execution, which was shown across the world, alerted many to how near the capital Taleban ‘rule’ extended. However, the target of […]

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The Mud Might Stick: Women’s Shelters Again

Sari Kouvo

On 17 June, the Minister of Justice, Habibullah Ghaleb, said that women’s shelters were safe havens for immorality and prostitution. He was later to apologize after stirring up fierce debate in Afghan media and elsewhere about women’s shelters and provoking defences of shelters by activists, the Women’s Affairs Minister and his own deputy. Nevertheless, says […]

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The Other Guantanamo 2: the Afghan State begins Internment

Kate Clark

Sources involved in the handover of Bagram detention facility from the United States to Afghanistan have told AAN that the Afghan state was due to start ruling on the internment of its own citizens there on 22 May 2012. The use of the US system of detention without trial by the Afghan government is probably […]

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No Country for Good Policemen?

Fabrizio Foschini

At the NATO summit in Chicago, everybody’s attention seems to be focused on the budget for the defence of Afghanistan and how much donors will spend after 2014, in other words on the quantity of security forces that the country will be able to field. But what about their quality? A new, excellent report on […]

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A Slippery Slope: What Happened to Women’s Rights in March 2012?

Sari Kouvo

March was an interesting month for women’s rights in Afghanistan: President Hamed Karzai endorsed a statement by the National Ulema Council according to which women are worth less than men; the Afghan government launched its first report under the Convention on the Elimination on all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) that, while focusing on […]

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The Trouble with Torture: NDS, Special Forces and the CIA

Kate Clark

Fresh evidence of abuse in more than a dozen NDS and police facilities has been presented in a report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and Open Societies Foundations (OSF). The allegations, which include testimony of security detainees being beaten, given electric shocks and having their genitals wrenched, were described by NDS as […]

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The ‘Other Bagram’ (1): A Memorandum for handover

Kate Clark

President Karzai’s legal advisor, Nasrullah Stanekzai, has confirmed to AAN that there will be detention without trial of Afghans by Afghans when the Detention Facility at Parwan (DFIP), also referred to simply as ‘Bagram’, is handed over to Afghan government control, at the latest, on 8 September 2012. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by […]

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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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