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.

Protest in eastern Nangarhar province in September 2015 for inclusion of words of Afghan and Islam in new electronic national identity cards. (Pajhwok/Zeerak Fahim)

The Troubled History of the E-tazkera (Part 1): Political upheaval

Jelena Bjelica Martine van Bijlert

There is a fairly broad consensus among Afghans and donors alike that the introduction of an electronic ID card – or e-tazkera – would be a good thing; it would provide accurate population data, standardised ID documents and the possibility of, in the case of elections, drawing up reliable voter lists. The project, however, has […]

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Casting a Very Wide Net: Did Ghani just authorise interning Afghans without trial?

Kate Clark Lenny Linke

A recent decree by President Ghani on how to deal with terrorist crimes has introduced the prospect of detaining, without trial, Afghans (and foreigners in Afghanistan) suspected of planning acts of terrorism. The relevant article allows the Afghan authorities to detain suspects indefinitely on very little evidence and with little or no opportunity to defend […]

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The main corridor of the MSF hospital in Kunduz after the 3 October airstrikes. Victor J Blue/MSF

Ripping Up the Rule Book? US investigation into the MSF hospital attack

Kate Clark

The commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, has said the deadly air strike on the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz in the early hours of 3 October 2015 was “a direct result of avoidable human error compounded by process and equipment failures.” The US military investigation, moreover, found […]

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A 36-Year Wait for Justice? Dutch arrest suspected Afghan war criminal

Kate Clark

The Dutch police have arrested an Afghan Dutchman on suspicion of war crimes. Sadeq Alamyar has been accused of involvement in one of the worst atrocities of the Afghan war: the killing of hundreds of men and boys in the village of Kerala in Kunar province by an elite unit, on the night of 19-20 […]

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Homeless and Unwanted: How Kabul’s drug users are driven from place to place

Jelena Bjelica Qayoom Suroush

The 2015 summer campaign to push drug users out from under the bridge in Pol-e Sokhta and close the ‘addict town’ there has turned into a public spectacle with groups of drug addicts being herded around by the police. Complaints by the surrounding community had forced the police to act, resulting in the partial dispersal of […]

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There are no known pictures of Mohammed Kamin, now cleared for release from Guantanamo. Even the US military’s intelligence Assessment of him has only a blacked out face.

Kafka in Cuba 3: Afghan who wore the wrong type of watch to be released from Guantanamo

Kate Clark

One of the eight Afghans still detained at Guantanamo Bay, Mohammad Kamin, has been cleared for release after a new review board assessed it was no longer necessary to detain him. Kamin, now in his late 30s and from Khost, has been incarcerated for 12 years, a third of his life. The United States believed […]

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Police Treated With Kid Gloves: The many flaws of the Farkhunda trial

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

An Afghan court has found 11 policemen guilty of dereliction of duty for failing to prevent the murder of religious student Farkhunda by a mob in the centre of Kabul on 19 March 2015. They were all sentenced to one year, the absolute minimum, which means also they may not have to go to jail […]

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Covering for Each Other in Zanabad: The defiant widows of the hill

Naheed Esar Malikzay

On top of a hill in Kabul’s southeast is a unique community. It is locally known as Zanabad (“Women’s Town”) and has survived all turmoil of the last decades. A group of widows started building homes there for themselves as far back as the 1990s. Initially, the people of the neighbouring communities looked down on […]

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The Killing of Farkhunda (2): Mullahs, feminists and a gap in the debate

Borhan Osman

From ultra-conservative Salafis to secular-minded feminists, an astonishingly diverse range of voices have found their heroine in Farkhunda, the young woman who was lynched by a mob in Kabul on 19 March 2015. She has become the rare victim of violence to be almost unanimously called a shahid, a martyr. The consensus on her status, however, […]

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The Killing of Farkhunda (1): The physical environment and the social types party to her murder

Fabrizio Foschini Naheed Esar Malikzay

40 days after the violent killing of Farkhunda, supporters gathered on Monday, 27 April 2015, to mourn and protest her death. Afghan public opinion has now reached a broad consensus over the unprecedented gravity of this murder. Yet, many questions remain as to what triggered the killing and how it was possible for such a […]

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Photographer in Jail: An example of arbitrary Afghan ‘justice’

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

President Ghani’s spokesman has told AAN that jailed Afghan photographer Najib Musafer will be released from Pul-e Charkhi, although he gave no date. Musafer took a photograph of girls parading in an Education Day ceremony seven years ago and sold it to a production company which turned it into an image advertising Etisalat telephones. One […]

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Impunity and Silence: The meagre reaction to the latest HRW report

Thomas Ruttig

Human rights abuses in Afghanistan no longer make big waves outside the really concerned circles. Yesterday (on 3 March 2015), Human Rights Watch released a hard-hitting piece of meticulous research looking at the ease with which gross human rights violations and war crimes are still committed by the powerful in Afghanistan: “Today We Shall All […]

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