Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Sari Kouvo

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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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

Sari Kouvo Ehsan Qaane

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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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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A War with no End in Sight: The backlashes regarding Afghan women’s rights (amended)

Sari Kouvo

A man cuts off the nose and lips of his wife. He does this because his wife refuses to give him her jewelry to buy drugs, and he does it in front of the couple’s children. This happened on 13 December in Herat, and rightly so, the incident received considerable media and civil society attention. […]

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Dismantling Human Rights in Afghanistan: The AIHRC facing a possible downgrading of status

Kate Clark Sari Kouvo

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) “has been until now”, said Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), “a critical, credible institution.” That ‘until now’ is significant: Pillay was visiting Afghanistan partly to discuss the risk to the Commission of losing its ‘A status’ when it comes up for international […]

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Tell Us How This Ends. Transitional Justice and Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan

Sari Kouvo P. Gossman

AAN’s latest thematic report “Tell Us How This Ends: Transitional Justice and Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan” by Patricia Gossman and Sari Kouvo, asks whether, after 35 years of conflict, Afghanistan can move forward without addressing the legacies of its violent past? A timely and relevant question in the context of current efforts to find […]

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“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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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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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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Transfers and Torture: The British Army halts transfers of detainees to the NDS

Sari Kouvo

President Karzai has warned British forces that they must hand detainees over and may not hold any detainees themselves. The warning follows a British government decision to stop all transfers after a former UK detainee, Sardar Mohammed, challenged their legality, given the risk of torture by the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS). Sardar Mohammed […]

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New Commissioners for Human Rights: An End to the Standstill, or an End to Human Rights? [Amended]

Sari Kouvo

A reshuffle of the commissioners of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) seems to be moving closer. However, the criteria along which new candidates are chosen remain unclear and subject to (factional) politicking. There is a grave danger that human rights concerns will fall victim to these unrelated considerations. At least four new appointments […]

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