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.

Visitor at the opening of Kabul’s newest museum, the Afghanistan Centre for Memories and Dialogue, which commemorates war crimes and their victims (Photo Hadi Morawej 2019)

Peace in The Air, But Where Is Justice? Efforts to get transitional justice on the table

Ehsan Qaane Sari Kouvo

A new museum, commemorating war crimes and their victims, has opened in Kabul. The Afghanistan Centre for Memories and Dialogue is dedicated to collecting the stories of survivors and the families of victims of war crimes. Their voices have rarely been heard in recent decades, partly because dealing with the legacy of violations in the […]

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The 2018 Election Observed (3) in Kunduz: A Very Violent E-Day

Obaid Ali

Kunduz province faced serious security issues during and after Election Day. The turnout was far lower than expected. This was mainly due to an almost unprecedented level of Taleban violence compared to most other provinces on that day. Three districts were deprived of their rights to vote in their entirety, while six others had a […]

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Voters queue in Nili, provincial capital of Daikundi. Photo: Ehsan Qaane

Election Day One: A rural-urban divide emerging

AAN Team Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan’s third post-Taleban parliamentary elections have started slowly, with a lot of technical chaos and significant fighting in a number of provinces. Polling hours have now been extended. Even in many areas of Kabul, polling centres had not opened by 9:30am. There are widespread reports of a lack of polling material, electoral staff being unfamiliar […]

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AIHRC’s Bamyan provincial office building inaugurated in 2014. Its nine from 14 offices, one HQ and 13 provincial offices, have their own buildings. The buildings of its provincial offices in Balkh and Daikundi are under construction. Photo: AIHRC’s website.

New Commissioners for the AIHRC: 390 applications for nine positions

Ehsan Qaane

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), set up in 2002 as part of the Bonn Agreement, is to get a new set of commissioners. How to choose them has proved difficult. Before, the president just appointed whom he wanted. Now, a new procedure aimed at greater transparency has ended up being slow and clumsy. The […]

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Widespread Violence yet Perpetrators go Unpunished: A new UN report on violence against Afghan women

Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

Violence against women – be it murder, beatings, mutilation, child marriage, the giving away of girls in marriage to resolve disputes (baad) or other harmful practices – remains widespread throughout Afghanistan, despite the government’s efforts to criminalise such practices, the UN has found. Its new report highlights how mediation by government and traditional actors, which […]

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Two New Reports on Afghan Civilian Casualties: Gruelling, but important reading

Kate Clark

UNAMA and Human Rights Watch have each released blistering reports on the killing and wounding of civilians in the Afghan conflict. UNAMA presents the results of its investigation into the Afghan Air Force’s bombing of an open-air graduation ceremony at a madrassa in Dasht-e Archi in Kunduz province in April. It concludes that, even if […]

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An ICC Delay: Court postpones decision on whether to investigate war crimes in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

The International Criminal Court has announced a delay in deciding whether or not to authorise an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity by American and Afghan government forces and Taleban and other insurgent groups in Afghanistan. A decision had been expected during the last month, but a routine changeover of the Court’s judges […]

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ICC reports: “Victims Overwhelmingly Support” Investigation into War Crimes in Afghanistan

Kate Clark

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has published its findings from victims who suffered war crimes in relation to the Afghan conflict, either in Afghanistan or in other countries. The victims mentioned murder, rape, forced disappearance, attacks against civilians and pillage. The ICC report said victims’ backing for an ICC investigation was “overwhelming” with 98 per […]

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Photographs of some of the victims of ISKP atrocities in Kabul. It is thought that ISKP victims were among those submitting representations to the ICC. 345 forms on behalf of almost more than seven hundred thousand victims have been submitted. (Photo: AAN, 8 December 2017)

Afghan Victims of War Crimes Want Investigation: Hundreds of thousands apply to ICC

Ehsan Qaane

31 January was the deadline for victims of Afghan war crimes to share their experiences and opinions with the International Criminal Court (ICC). Based on information so far released by the ICC, the Court has received 345 representations on behalf of more than seven hundred thousand victims. These representations are important as they will factor […]

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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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