Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Ehsan Qaane

The flag of the fallen Islamic Republic of Afghanistan among the flags of all the state parties at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Photo: Ehsan Qaane, taken in March 2016, but an ICC spokesperson said, it still hangs there.

Delaying Justice? The ICC’s war crimes investigation in limbo over who represents Afghanistan

Ehsan Qaane

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have still not made a decision to authorise, or not, the resumption of the court’s war crimes investigation in Afghanistan, ten months after the ICC Prosecutor urged them to expedite their approval. It means that, 16 years after the ICC began to look into Afghanistan, it has still yet to […]

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Conviction of an Afghan War Criminal: A trial years later and far from the scene

Ehsan Qaane

A 76-year old Afghan has been convicted of war crimes in a Dutch court for crimes committed when he was a senior figure at the notorious Pul-e Charkhi prison in the 1980s. The court sentenced Abdul Razaq Arif to twelve years imprisonment for the crimes of arbitrary detention, cruel and inhuman treatment and assault on the personal […]

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Regime Change, Economic Decline and No Legal Protection: What has happened to the Afghan media?

Ehsan Qaane

The Taleban takeover of Afghanistan delivered a devastating blow to one of the Republic’s few achievements – freedom of expression and a vibrant media sector. Since the fall of the Republic, nearly half of Afghanistan’s media outlets have closed and thousands of Afghan journalists and media workers have either left the country, lost their jobs, […]

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school girls

UN Human Rights Council to talk about Afghanistan: Why so little appetite for action?

Rachel Reid Ehsan Qaane

The United Nation’s Human Rights Council is holding a Special Session on Tuesday (24 August) to discuss the human rights situation in Afghanistan – both past and present. The resolution they will be considering has been drafted by Pakistan, the Taleban’s main international backer. Pakistan is currently the human rights coordinator of the Organisation of […]

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How to Investigate War Crimes? Kabul tells the ICC it is dealing with them, while the AIHRC pleads for help from the UN

Ehsan Qaane

The saga of the stalled International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into war crimes allegedly committed as part of the Afghan war continues. Following a high-level meeting in The Hague last month, the Afghan government is still dancing around the issue, as it reacts to competing pressure from the ICC, the United States (which does not […]

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The Intra-Afghan Peace Talks: Warring parties negotiate, victims of war are excluded

Ehsan Qaane

A clear divide has emerged in the Afghan government on the role of war victims in the peace process. In a surprising move, President Ashraf Ghani recently suggested that Afghanistan should follow the Spanish model – better known as the ‘pact of forgetting’. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Peace and members of the Afghan negotiating team […]

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To Release, Or Not To Release? Legal questions around Ghani’s consultative loya jirga on Taleban prisoners

Ehsan Qaane

The Consultative Loya Jirga, called by President Ashraf Ghani to decide the fate of 400 Taleban prisoners, and whether they should be released to enable intra-Afghan peace talks, has begun. Ghani has argued that, according to the constitution and the penal code, it was not in his power to release these prisoners and therefore he […]

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A Request to Delay: Another Afghan government attempt to prevent an ICC war crimes investigation?

Ehsan Qaane

The Afghan government has submitted a request to the ICC Office of the Prosecutor to defer the ICC’s investigations in Afghanistan, on the grounds that domestic investigations are taking place into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity that occurred on Afghan soil. They argue this means there is no need for the ICC investigation. […]

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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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