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.

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
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, […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Afghan War Criminal Zardad Freed: No protection for witnesses

Kate Clark

One of the few Afghans convicted of war crimes has been released from a British jail and deported to Afghanistan. Faryadi Sarwar Zardad, a Hezb-e Islami commander, was convicted in 2005 of hostage-taking and torture. He preyed on people fleeing the civil war in Kabul in the mid-1990s, infamously keeping a ‘human dog’, a man […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
The family of Zahra, a 14-year old girl who was 4 months pregnant when she was burnt to death by in-laws in Ghor, sit in a protest tent in Allauddin Park, in Kart-e Seh area of Kabul, to seek justice for Zahra. Photo: Tolo News.

Reality Check: No justice for women in Ghor province

Salima Ahmadi

Ghor province, in western Afghanistan, has been in the headlines in the past few years. Not only was the appointment of its first female provincial governor overturned, there has also been a series of extreme cases of violence against its women. In this unsettling provincial case study, AAN’s Salima Ahmadi takes a closer look at […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
Picture shows damaged building

One Step Closer to War Crime Trials? New ICC report on Afghanistan

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

The International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor has said it will “imminently” be taking a decision on whether to request authorisation from judges to commence an investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan. The Taleban could be investigated, among other offences, for murder and intentionally attacking civilians, while Afghan government forces, and the US military […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
Detainee assessment report cover

From Guantanamo to the UAE: A scrutiny of the three Afghan transfer cases

Kate Clark

Three of the eight remaining Afghans detained by the United States in Guantanamo have been transferred to the United Arab Emirates. The three had each spent 13 or 14 years in detention. None were captured on the battlefield, but detained after tip-offs or were handed over to the US by Afghan forces. Their files reveal […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
Afghanistan's flag hangs among the other members' flags at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Photo: Ehsan Qaane (2016)

The ICC’s Planned Visit to Afghanistan: Crimes, capacities and the willingness to prosecute

Ehsan Qaane

A delegation from the International Criminal Court (ICC) is planning to visit Afghanistan in 2016, but the government has hesitated about receiving it. It has established an inter-ministerial committee to ensure the Rome Statute, the treaty establishing the ICC, is finally translated into local languages and published in the official gazette so that the public […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
Six convicts sentenced to death were executed by hanging in Pol-e Charkhi prison in Kabul on the morning of 8 May 2016. (Photo Source: Tolonews)

Afghanistan’s Latest Executions: Responding to calls for capital punishment

Ehsan Qaane Jelena Bjelica

On the president’s order, six convicts sentenced to death were executed by hanging in Pol-e Charkhi prison on the morning of 8 May 2016. The executions came after the president’s speech at the joint session of both houses of Parliament on 25 April 2016, in which he announced that the time for unjustified amnesty was […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
Map showing the distribution of attacks on schools across Afghanistan from the new UN report "Education and Healthcare at risk: Key trends and incidents affecting children’s access to healthcare and education in Afghanistan”, released on 18 April 2016

Education and Health Care at Risk: UN report paints grim picture of post-transition Afghanistan

AAN Team

A new UN report highlights how access to healthcare and education in Afghanistan, particularly for children, is being increasingly compromised by violence, threats, intimidation and abuse of facilities. The number of verified incidents over the last three years (2013-2015) in particular shows an increase in recorded incidents of threats and intimidation, as well as a continued […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more