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.

“Tell Us How This Ends”; Discussing Transitional Justice

Sari Kouvo

AAN’s latest report ‘Tell Us How This Ends: Transitional Justice and Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan’ asks whether, after 35 years of conflict, Afghanistan can move forward without addressing the legacies of its violent past. The report includes an overview of war crimes and human rights violations from the Communist putsch in 1978 to the […]

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Freeing the ‘Guantanamo Five’ 2: Kafka in Cuba (first posted: 11-03-2012)

Kate Clark

A possible prisoner exchange – captured US soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, for five key members of the Taleban who are held in Guantanamo Bay – is top of the Taleban’s agenda for negotiations, according to their spokesman, Sohail Shaheen, speaking to AP. When this exchange was first mooted in early 2012, it caused outrage among some […]

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Releasing the Guantanamo Five? 1: Biographies of the prisoners (first posted: 09-03-2012)

Kate Clark

Now that the Taleban office in Qatar has been opened, a US-Taleban prisoner exchange is again on the table. It would mean the American soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Haqqani-linked, Taleban commander, Mullah Sangin in 2009, being exchanged for four senior and one junior Taleban prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay; they include […]

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AIHRC Commissioners Finally Announced

Martine van Bijlert Sari Kouvo

Finally, the new commissioners for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) have been announced. The announcement comes 19 months after President Hamed Karzai unilaterally removed three Commissioners in December 2011, with another killed in a Taleban attack and a fifth dismissed. The movement after such a long time on these long overdue appointments has […]

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About Discrimination and Internet Access: Another student protest in Kabul

Niamatullah Ibrahimi

The 24 May complex Taleban attack in the heart of Kabul and, to a lesser extent, the demonstration of Kabul University students against the Law for the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW law) overshadowed another student protest in the Afghan capital. For eight days ending yesterday, some 80 students mostly of the Social Science […]

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The EVAW law – an Evil Law? The backlash at Kabul University

Borhan Osman

Many worried that debating the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) law in parliament might backfire. In the end, the Speaker cut short the discussion and sent it into the shadows of a parliamentary committee for further discussion. However, even such a brief debate brought he existence of the law to the public’s attention and […]

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Damage Avoided, for Now? The very short debate about the EVAW law

Christine Roehrs

It took only 20 minutes on Saturday morning for the parliamentary debate on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) law to get heated – and for the Speaker to abruptly stop discussion. He sent the EVAW law back to the Joint Commission of the Parliament, which is responsible for preparing draft laws, for more […]

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On a Knife’s Edge: The looming parliamentary debate about the Elimination of Violence against Women law

Christine Roehrs Sari Kouvo

The Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women (the EVAW law) was celebrated as a major step forward for women’s rights in Afghanistan when it was issued per presidential decree three years ago. It is now on the parliament’s agenda for debate. This is not necessarily good news for women’s rights, however, since a […]

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The Other Guantanamo 4: The Final Handover of Bagram in Sight?

Kate Clark

The transfer of detainees held at Bagram airbase from US to Afghan hands is once again in full swing. Transfers had begun after the US and Afghan governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on transferring Bagram almost a year ago, but they were suspended by the US in late summer 2012, due to reluctance […]

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Torture, Illegal Armed Groups: Signs of Possible Afghan Government Action?

Kate Clark

Many were surprised by the eventual response of the Afghan government to the detailed allegations made by UNAMA in January concerning torture carried out by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the Afghan National Police (ANP). The government’s initial denials that any problem existed were predictable enough, but were followed by President Karzai ordering […]

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General Allen Leaves with an Improved Report Card on Civilian Casualties and Torture

Kate Clark

Today, 10 February 2012, the commander of ISAF and US forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, leaves after a year and a half in the job. ‘When I got here,’ he told The New York Times, ‘I measured success in how well and how often we were fighting. Today, it’s a very different environment. The […]

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Ambiguous about Torture: Zero Dark Thirty, the Movie

Kate Clark

Oscar-winning film director, Kathryn Bigelow’s new film Zero Dark Thirty tells the story of the search for and eventual killing of Osama Bin Laden. The film has proved controversial – praised by some for its cool realism, it has also been castigated for inaccuracies. Above all, though, it has been accused of justifying torture. AAN […]

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