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 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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The remainders of the US' foreign detainees in Bagram: two Tunisians, two Tajiks, one Egyptian, and one Uzbek. (The photo shows other prisoners.) Photo: Khaama Press

The ‘Other Guantanamo’ (13): What should Afghanistan do with America’s foreign detainees?

Kate Clark

The United States bequeathed Afghanistan a huge problem when it finally and completely transferred its detention facility at Bagram to the Afghan government in December 2014. For the previous 12 months, it had been urgently trying to get rid of all of the 50 or so foreigners it held there. In the end, it failed […]

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"Torture tarnishes the image of the state." Photo: ToloNews.

Because of Impunity: UN reports Afghan forces still torturing Afghans

Kate Clark

It is two years since UNAMA last reported on torture by Afghan security forces of detainees suspected of conflict-related crimes. In the wake of its 2013 report, former President Karzai was stung into investigating the matter and instituted steps to try to root torture out. ISAF also strengthened its monitoring of detainees it transferred to […]

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Portrait Masume. Photo: Gervasio Sánchez.

Women Suffering, Women Looking for Ways Out: A photo exhibition in Barcelona

Thomas Ruttig

 “A woman who wants to marry the man who raped her. . . . Brides ending up mutilated after their first sexual experience. . . . Women with university training and a career condemned to live with husbands they do not love because, if they divorce, they would lose their children.” These are captions to […]

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Shame and Impunity: Is violence against women becoming more brutal?

Wazhma Samandary

A father raping his daughter over almost ten years without the family daring to intervene (except to help with abortions); a woman burnt after a family fight; another woman mutilated because her husband enjoyed doing so – these are just some of the cases of violence against women and girls that have been reported in […]

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The ‘Other Guantanamo’ (10): Bagram closing: Lawyers worried about ‘ghost detainees’ (an update)

Kate Clark

Pakistani lawyers have told AAN they fear that when the United States closes its detention facility at Bagram at the end of the year, there may still be ‘ghost detainees’, men whose names, identities – and fate – remains unknown to the outside world. Since the earliest days of the war, the United States has […]

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Karzai struggles against foreign detentions – state releases Taleban?

Kate Clark

In the last weeks of his presidency, President Hamed Karzai has again been trying to eradicate the last traces of foreign involvement in detentions, sending a commission to investigate the so-called Tor Jail, an American interrogation facility on Bagram airbase, and reactivating the Afghan Review Board, which had been sifting detainees transferred by the US […]

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Elections 2014 (30): Some initial reflections on E-Day II

Thomas Ruttig

The counting of second round votes from the presidential elections is still under way in much of Afghanistan, although results are now trickling in from some polling stations. Meanwhile, everyone is trying to assess how well the second round went: the impact of security incidents, level of fraud and, especially importantly, how big the turnout […]

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A Second ‘Death List’: More on those forcibly disappeared in the civil war

P. Gossman

After last year’s release of a ‘death list’ containing almost 5000 names of men who ‘disappeared’ in the late 1970s, another list is to be publicly available soon, this time listing 671 men who were forcibly disappeared during the civil war in Kabul in the mid-1990s. The document was put together, at the time, by […]

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Enough with the Killing of Civilians! The Serena attack and the civil society response

Susanne Schmeidl

The war is getting dirtier, writes Susanne Schmeidl, member of and guest contributor to AAN, looking at the Serena attack and its victims, particularly the women and children. We have to assume that everything and everybody is fair game in the Taleban’s fight against – “well, against what?” she asks, and “for whom?” Schmeidl gives […]

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