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.

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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UK court rules on detainee transfers and the risk of torture

Kate Clark

Judges at the Royal Courts of Justice in London have given a ‘mixed ruling’ on a bid to stop UK forces transferring detainees to the Afghan intelligence directorate, the NDS. They found that there was risk of torture – which should make transfers illegal – but ruled that they could continue to be transferred to […]

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Six years late, the Constitutional Commission is formed; but will it take on president and parliament?

Sari Kouvo

One of the many ambiguities in the Afghan Constitution is on who has the authority to interpret the Constitution. For no obvious reason a mix of both judicial and legislative oversight was smuggled into the Constitution when it was adopted in 2004. Six years later, the Independent Commission for the Supervision of the Implementation of […]

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Freeing the Prisoners Blog 2: Protecting the Innocent?

Kate Clark

An unknown number of Afghans are being held in custody suspected of being Taleban or convicted of insurgency-related crimes. Complaints about wrongful arrest, detention without trial, torture and a justice system where influence and money count for more than guilt or innocence are rife – and, of course, not limited to security prisoners. President Karzai’s […]

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Freeing the Prisoners Blog 1: Letting the Guilty Go Free?

Kate Clark

When the Afghan intelligence boss, Amrullah Saleh, said he could not, in all conscience, carry on in his post if it entailed “negotiating with suicide bombers” he became the first person to take a principled, stand against the way Afghan policy on the Taleban is developing. Saleh is particularly opposed to freeing Taleban prisoners. Yet […]

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After two years in legal limbo: A first glance at the approved ‘Amnesty law’

Sari Kouvo

(Updated: 30 September 2017) – Impunity is certainly a problem in Afghanistan, but now impunity has been made into law. The so-called amnesty law (now titled the National Reconciliation, General Amnesty and National Stability Law) was published in the official gazette in December 2008 (Qaus 1387). While opinions differ about whether the law was formally passed […]

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