Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Ehsan Qaane

Civilian victims of a Taleban attack in Daulatabad, Faryab, June 2014. Will an investigation lead to justice for victims like these? Credit: Pajhwok Afghan news

One Step Closer to War Crimes Trials (2): ICC Prosecutor requests authorisation to investigate

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has requested judicial authorisation to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in connection to the Afghan armed conflict. If the judges of the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber agree, there could now be investigations of the Taleban for many types of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and Afghan […]

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Afghanistan’s New Law on Freedom of Assembly: Limiting the space to demonstrate

Ehsan Qaane

A new law on freedom of assembly is under consideration in Afghanistan. The National Security Council (NSC) decided to replace the current Law on Gatherings, Demonstrations and Strikes (hereafter called the Assembly Law) after the deadly explosion which targeted protesters in the Deh Mazang area of Kabul on 23 July 2016. A draft of the […]

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Cover of a collection of legal interpretations, comments and consultation published by the Constitutional Oversight Commission.

The Constitutional Oversight Commission in a Standoff with President Ghani: Defending their independence or covering up mistakes?

Ali Yawar Adili Ehsan Qaane

The Afghan government has found itself in a complicated legal tangle again. After the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution (hereafter, Constitutional Oversight Commission) dismissed its chair, the president ordered an evaluation of the Commission’s performance in a move that looks designed to curtail its independence. Although the legal basis for the […]

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Investigating Post-2003 War crimes: Afghan Government wants “one more year” from the ICC

Ehsan Qaane

The ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) announced on 14 November 2016 that it would “imminently” make its final decision whether to ask the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber for authorisation to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed since Afghanistan signed the ICC statute in 2003. The Afghan government, however, has asked […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Afghan parliament will vote on 9 April about a new interior minister, among others, after the previous one, Nur-ul-Haq Ulumi (here on a 2005 election poster in Kandahar) stepped down. Photo: Thomas Ruttig.

Filling NUG Vacancies: Parliament to vote on Interior Minister and Attorney General

Ehsan Qaane Salima Ahmadi Thomas Ruttig

With two international conferences that will decide about future support levels for Afghanistan at the horizon, and a surprisingly high number of key positions still held by caretakers or politically vulnerable individuals, the NUG has moved to fill two posts that are central to the government’s key undertakings: Interior Minister, which plays an important role […]

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Elections in Hibernation: Afghanistan’s stalled electoral reform

Ehsan Qaane Martine van Bijlert

Afghanistan’s electoral reform process has been bogged down for months. While the National Unity Government agreement called for the “immediate establishment” of an Electoral Reform Commission, it took the president five months just to sign the necessary decree. Now, three months later, the commission has still not started its work and it looks like the original […]

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Police Treated With Kid Gloves: The many flaws of the Farkhunda trial

Ehsan Qaane Kate Clark

An Afghan court has found 11 policemen guilty of dereliction of duty for failing to prevent the murder of religious student Farkhunda by a mob in the centre of Kabul on 19 March 2015. They were all sentenced to one year, the absolute minimum, which means also they may not have to go to jail […]

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