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Afghanistan is Emblematic of Crises the ICC Was Created to Address

The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan has magnified concerns about an accelerating human rights crisis in the country. Already the world’s deadliest conflict since 2017, Afghanistan had seen a steady rise in attacks on civilians…
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  The impending start of the intra-Afghan peace negotiations has raised hopes for an end to Afghanistan’s long war. Among the many grave anxieties remaining, however, is whether a future agreement will address past human rights abuses or if…
The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, February 6, 2020. 
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  Recently, a panel of International Criminal Court (ICC) judges unanimously rejected Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s November 2017 request to open an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity…
The Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
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The blood stains on the classroom walls couldn’t be washed away following the Taliban attack on the middle school in Postak Bazaar village in Afghanistan. ‘We had to chip it away from the wall with an axe,’ a school official told Human Rights Watch.…
An Afghan policeman stands guard at the entrance of a local school sponsored by Japan’s International Cooperation Agency in Kandahar City May 11, 2010. © 2010 Nikola Solic / Reuters
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Urge to Press the Government for Action Is Long Gone

“This is not a side event. This is the main event,” several speakers said at the – yes – side event on women’s empowerment the day before the October 5 donor conference on Afghanistan in Brussels. The donor session, for all its warm glow, highlighted the…
DATE IMPORTED:October 05, 2016(Front Row L-R) Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, President Ashraf Ghani, European Council President Donald Tusk, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, U.S.
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Governments around the world have gathered in Brussels to show political and financial support for the Afghan government’s efforts at democratic reforms and to promote economic development. The meeting couldn’t have come a more crucial time. European…
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As planting season started in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan this spring, so did the fighting. One farmer, Ibrahim (he uses only one name), and his family had barely tilled their land when they had to leave. Fighting had been close by for most of…
Afghan boys look out from behind a damaged wall after a Taliban attack in Kabul, Afghanistan October 6, 2015.
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Since the 2001 U.S.-led military intervention in Afghanistan, Western countries have invested heavily in education there. But as security across the country deteriorates, schools in many places are under threat, not only from resurgent…
2016-May-Afghanistan-1
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The Aksaray neighborhood of Istanbul is a veritable smugglers’ den, where you can watch asylum seekers and migrants huddling and planning their next moves. But when I spoke with people there several days ago, I also saw many people with blank stares, the…
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Oped on cnn.com

This week kicks off one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Millions will set out for Thanksgiving, a holiday that celebrates how refugees from religious persecution found freedom in a new land. I’ll be one of those traveling. And while I’m looking…
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Here’s a story to break your heart – thousands of Afghan refugee boys who roam Europe alone, without parents, without enough help from European governments, and at risk of destitution, detention, and death. This sounds like a version of the “Hunger…
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In a new report by Human Rights Watch, United States soldiers have for the first time come forward to describe torture and other abuse by the U.S. military in Iraq, and the failure of superior officers to stop it. Human Rights Watch's report has…
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Only independent outsiders can deal with Abu Ghraib

It has now been three months since the appearance of the first pictures of U.S. soldiers humiliating and torturing detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Shortly after the photos came out, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell told foreign leaders: "Watch…
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When asked what she desired most for Afghanistan's future, "Nadia," a Kabul university student, didn't hesitate. "First, we wish the girls who live in the provinces would have schools-not just grades one through five at most. Second, we wish that they…
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In July, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees drafted guidelines for governments on categories of Afghans who still require protection and should not be returned to Afghanistan. The document referred extensively to Human Rights Watch research…