Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Ehsan Qaane

Photographs of some of the 5,000 victims forcibly disappeared by the PDPA government placed close to Pul-e Charkhi prison in Kabul where many mass graves have been discovered. Information about these victims has emerged as a result of Dutch investigations into war crimes and has brought solace to family members. Photo: Maina Abbasi/ December 2016

Afghan War Crimes Trials in The Netherlands: Who are the suspects and what have been the outcomes?

Ehsan Qaane

At least six Afghan, or Afghan-Dutch, citizens have been investigated for war crimes and torture in Afghanistan by the Dutch authorities. Two were found guilty and received prison sentences, one was acquitted, one died during the investigation, one was investigated but released due to insufficient evidence, and the sixth is still under investigation. All were […]

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Taleban Prisoners Release: Are the latest proposals legal?

Ehsan Qaane

President Ashraf Ghani has proposed the sequenced and conditional release of 5,000 Taleban prisoners, in response to the 29 February United States-Taleban agreement which said up to 5,000 Taleban prisoners would be exchanged for up to 1,000 prisoners of ‘the other side’. The Taleban have bluntly rejected this proposal. Nevertheless, the Afghan government is standing by the terms […]

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War Crimes Investigation in Afghanistan by the ICC: It’s happening. What will it mean?

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has authorised an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity occurring in Afghanistan since 2003, by the Taleban, and United States and Afghan government forces. The investigation will also cover crimes related to the Afghan conflict that took place on the territory of other ICC member states, thereby bringing […]

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One Land, Two Rules (9): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Jalrez district of Wardak province

Ehsan Qaane

Ethnically-mixed Jalrez district has seen increased Taleban activity since 2014, with approximately half of it now under their control. The district centre is the most contested sub-district, having been surrounded and repeatedly attacked by the Taleban. Twenty kilometres of the secondary Kabul-Bamyan highway, which connects the Hazarajat to the Afghan capital, is under Taleban control. […]

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Legal Arguments and War Crimes: the ICC Appeals Hearing on Afghanistan in Five Questions

Ehsan Qaane Sari Kouvo

The judges of the International Criminal Court’s Appeals Chamber are now deciding whether to authorise an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly perpetrated in Afghanistan. The court’s Pre-Trial Chamber decided in April to reject such an investigation. At the appeal hearing, everyone who spoke agreed that crimes severe enough for the ICC […]

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Will the ICC Start an Investigation in Afghanistan after all? What we know so far about the ICC appeals hearing

Ehsan Qaane Sari Kouvo

After the startling rejection in April by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of the prosecutors’ request to launch an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, there has been a flurry of appeals by both prosecutor and victims. Some of these will be heard in December at the Appeals Chamber of the […]

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Beginning of a New Era at the AIHRC: Nine fresh commissioners

Ehsan Qaane

The National Unity Government has finally, after 13 painful months mulling the matter over, appointed nine new commissioners to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). The new chair is Shaharzad Akbar, a well-known human rights activist, who has served as a deputy at the National Security Council on peace, protection of civilians and fallen […]

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The End of the Jirga: Strong Words and Not Much Controversy

Ali Yawar Adili Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

The Consultative Peace Loya Jirga has ended in Kabul with reports back from the fifty committees of delegates, a speech from President Ghani and a communiqué which he said is now the government’s ‘roadmap’. Key points emerging from the jirga were calls for an ‘intra-Afghan’ dialogue with the Afghan government in charge, for a ceasefire and […]

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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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An Afghan women voter after casting her vote at polling centre in Daikundi. Photo: Ehsan Qaane, 2018.

The 2018 Election Observed (7) in Daikundi: The outstanding role of women

Ehsan Qaane

Like other provinces, the 2018 parliamentary election in Daikundi faced some technical, logistical and security challenges, but compared to other places these problems were limited. As a result, both the process and the outcome of the election have been largely uncontested. Women participation, both during voter registration and polling, was high: more women registered and […]

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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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The Insecure Spring of Ghazni: Results of third-grade treatment by the centre?

Ehsan Qaane

Ghazni is one province where the Taleban have long-established significant influence. Actually, they dominate it militarily, with the exception of the provincial capital, all but one of the 18 district centres and some larger areas in three districts. Over the spring of 2018, the Taleban – although not capturing more territory –, have significantly expanded […]

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