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.

Shelters in the Storm: The Controversy over Women’s Safehouses

Sari Kouvo

The Afghan government accuses women’s shelters of corruption, while women’s rights advocates criticize the government for believing rumors rather than facts and succumbing to the pressure of conservatives. Whatever the outcome of this controversy, the victims are likely to be the women who have sought refuge in the shelters – most of them fleeing situations […]

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Baseless Words – or: A Little Coaching for Christopher Hitchens

Thomas Ruttig

A reply to Chistopher Hitchens’ under-researched rant against what he calls the human rights ‘activists’ community that ‘finally notices the Taliban’s war crimes’. AAN’s senior analyst Thomas Ruttig points to some reports that show how far this is from truth. There we get it: ‘The human rights community finally notices the Taliban’s war crimes. […] […]

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Guest Blog: Legal Pluralism – Decentralization of the Rule of Law?

Michael Daxner

The discussion about how Afghanistan’s legal system should work and its three components – state, customary and Islamic law (sharia) – should relate to each other has been going on ever since 2001, without a clear result. Even the constitution leaves loopholes that are reflected in the legal practice. Currently, the Afghan government works on […]

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The Air Is Getting Thicker in Paktia

Thomas Ruttig

Some progress on the women’s front but the security situation spiraling further downwards and a population that cannot find anything good in the Americans anymore – these are impressions from a short visit to Gardez this week that was undertaken by AAN’s Senior Analyst Thomas Ruttig, two and a half months after his last trip […]

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Afghan Government Declares Kabul Smog Holiday

Kate Clark

From tomorrow, 1 December, until the end of the Afghan year (20 March), Kabul will enjoy a proper, two-day weekend. Every Thursday, government offices will be closed and workers asked to stay at home. But it is not a social achievement – it is a smog-induced extra holiday, an attempt to give this polluted city […]

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Facts for reconciliation: Human rights documentation needed

Sari Kouvo

Over the past month a rather heated debate has arisen first over the leaked and then over the formally released UN mapping of human rights violations and war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This debate has also drawn attention to other hidden UN gems, most notably to the unreleased UN mapping report […]

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No Nobel Price (Yet) for Sima Samar

Thomas Ruttig

The Nobel Committee is never shy of picking a fight. The one it picked this year is with China – by awarding its Peace Prize to the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo; it has been warned before by Beijing that this could impact on Norwegian-Chinese relations. AAN’s Senior Analysts Thomas Ruttig and Sari Kouvo wished […]

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The Civilian Cost of Armed Conflict in Afghanistan: An Overview of Recent Reports

Sari Kouvo

In July, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and UNAMA published their mid-year reports on civilian casualties and protection of civilians in the conflict in Afghanistan. AAN Senior Analyst, Sari Kouvo, takes a closer look at patterns identified on violations against – and protection of – civilians in the war in Afghanistan and brings in […]

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A Wikileaks Leak and Human Rights Matters

Thomas Ruttig

A series of emails sent to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by human rights groups from or based in Afghanistan has been leaked to the media. The groups ‘called on the whistleblower website to expunge the names of Afghans mentioned in the war logs because of fears that they could be targeted by insurgents’. AAN’s co-director […]

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Justice in Afghanistan: the Insect and the Elephant

Gran Hewad

AAN political researcher Gran Hewad attended this week’s opening event of the ‘National Campaign on Supporting Justice in Afghanistan’. He visited the tents, watched the audience and reminisces about the war and the chances of establishing justice. The ‘National Campaign on Supporting Justice in Afghanistan’ is the title of a six day open gathering taking […]

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New NDS boss – who is he?

Kate Clark

The appointment of a new head of NDS (National Directorate of Security) has come with a lot less fanfare than the departure of the old one, Amrullah Saleh, who resigned after deep disagreements with the president over policy towards the Taleban. The acting director, Engineer Ibrahim Spinzada, has returned to the shadows and his day […]

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Afghan civil society launches Access to Information campaign

AAN Team

This morning a large number of Afghan civil society organisations and several media organisations used the media attention surrounding the Kabul conference to launch a campaign highlighting the need for access to information and calling for the necessary legislation to be drafted. The demand is an important one. The pervasive ambiguity, the lack of clarity […]

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