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.

The Rome Statute was adopted in the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court in 1998. The Afghan Mujaheddin Government sent a delegation, which was led by current Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, to the Conference. That time Abdullah Abdullah was the Deputy of Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Questions and Answers about the International Criminal Court and its Afghanistan Investigation

AAN Team

On 20 November, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) finally published her request to open a formal investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan. This means that the Prosecutor agrees with the result of the preliminary examination showing that crimes meeting the ICC gravity threshold have been committed in […]

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Civilian victims of a Taleban attack in Daulatabad, Faryab, June 2014. Will an investigation lead to justice for victims like these? Credit: Pajhwok Afghan news

One Step Closer to War Crimes Trials (2): ICC Prosecutor requests authorisation to investigate

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has requested judicial authorisation to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in connection to the Afghan armed conflict. If the judges of the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber agree, there could now be investigations of the Taleban for many types of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and Afghan […]

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Physiotherapist Lorena Enebral Perez was killed by a patient on 11 September 2017. For the ICRC, it appears to have been the last straw. They have now decided to “drastically” scale back their operations in the north of Afghanistan. Credit: ICRC

Working in a ‘Grey Zone’: ICRC forced to scale back its work in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said it has “no other choice but to drastically reduce its presence and activities in Afghanistan, in particular in the north of the country.” The decision follows three attacks on its staff in less than a year, including the worst suffered by the organisation worldwide in […]

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Afghan citizen Gul Rahman froze to death in November 2002 in a CIA torture site north of Kabul. His family will now receive compensation. Photo: ACLU.

Held Accountable for Torture: CIA psychologists compensate family of dead Afghan

Kate Clark

A landmark case in the United States means that, for the first time, two of those responsible for the CIA’s post-2001 torture programme, have been held accountable in the courts. Much of this torture programme was carried out on Afghan soil. The two psychologists who designed and implemented the programme, have paid compensation to two […]

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Afghanistan’s New Law on Freedom of Assembly: Limiting the space to demonstrate

Ehsan Qaane

A new law on freedom of assembly is under consideration in Afghanistan. The National Security Council (NSC) decided to replace the current Law on Gatherings, Demonstrations and Strikes (hereafter called the Assembly Law) after the deadly explosion which targeted protesters in the Deh Mazang area of Kabul on 23 July 2016. A draft of the […]

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Cover of a collection of legal interpretations, comments and consultation published by the Constitutional Oversight Commission.

The Constitutional Oversight Commission in a Standoff with President Ghani: Defending their independence or covering up mistakes?

Ali Yawar Adili Ehsan Qaane

The Afghan government has found itself in a complicated legal tangle again. After the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution (hereafter, Constitutional Oversight Commission) dismissed its chair, the president ordered an evaluation of the Commission’s performance in a move that looks designed to curtail its independence. Although the legal basis for the […]

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Investigating Post-2003 War crimes: Afghan Government wants “one more year” from the ICC

Ehsan Qaane

The ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) announced on 14 November 2016 that it would “imminently” make its final decision whether to ask the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber for authorisation to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed since Afghanistan signed the ICC statute in 2003. The Afghan government, however, has asked […]

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Afghanistan’s Foreign Security Detainees: How many are there and what to do with them?

Kate Clark

Afghanistan remains an attractive place for international jihadists to come and fight, despite the competing appeal of Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. Since the post-2001 insurgency broke out, foreign fighters have come from Pakistan, Central Asia and the Arab world, some bringing their families. An unknown number have ended up in Afghan detention. More information about […]

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Terrorist suspects detained and being posed for the cameras. But what will there fate be? New UN report finds a rise in the use of torture by the Afghan state against conflict-related detainees (Photo: Pahjwok)

Torture as Prevalent as Ever: New UN report finds no end to impunity for Afghan torturers

Kate Clark

UNAMA’s latest two-yearly report on the use of torture by the Afghan state shows an increase in the proportion of conflict-related detainees who were tortured, compared to 2015, when UNAMA last reported. There has been, it said, no end to the “pervasive culture of impunity” for those carrying out torture. As AAN’s Kate Clark reports, […]

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Afghanistan’s Record on Torture to Come under UN Scrutiny

Kate Clark

On 25 and 26 April 2017, Afghanistan’s record on torture will be reviewed by a committee of experts under the auspices of the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The CAT Committee will hear from the government, United Nations human rights officials and NGOs before making recommendations. In the weeks leading up to the committee meeting, the government […]

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Harassment of Women in Afghanistan: A hidden phenomenon addressed in too many laws

Ehsan Qaane

Afghan women and girls often quietly endure harassment, including sexual harassment. Speaking out brings with it the possibility of their honour being called into question, and could lead to further restrictions being placed on their lives. Over the past few years, several legal initiatives have sought to address the issue of harassment. This has led […]

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Photographs of those who disappeared in AGSA custody, placed by family members in the Puligun (Polygon) area of Pul-e Charkhi, where mass graves have been found. Families hold a ceremony every year on 10 December to remember their lost relatives (Photo: Victims’ Families Association, with permission, 2016)

Assadullah Sarwari Freed from Prison: What chances of war crimes trials in Afghanistan?

Ehsan Qaane Sari Kouvo

Assadullah Sarwari, one of a handful of convicted Afghan war criminals, has been released from prison in Kabul. As head of the intelligence service immediately after the 1978 communist coup d’état, he was responsible for the torture and arbitrary execution of thousands of detainees. Yet, the lack of transparency and the irregular and illegal aspects […]

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