International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Impunity Gap: Afghanistan

Transitional justice for Afghanistan has yet to be realized. Certainly, it is logical to suggest that justice for crimes committed during the Taliban regime and during the subsequent foreign intervention must wait until peace and stability have returned to Afghanistan. But this case exposes many key transitional justice dilemmas – on the tension between peace and justice, international (Western) and local cultures modes of justice, the question of amnesty and political inclusions for former Taliban.

Read the article by Kouvo and Mazoori on “Reconciliation, Justice, and Mobilization of War Victims in Afghanistan,” this Guardian article on amnesty for the Taliban and this follow up Wired article on results of the amnesty deal.   (These are all short articles.) Address one or more of the following questions based on what you read in these articles any any additional online research.

a) What types of atrocities in Afghanistan should be addressed by transitional justice mechanisms? Should transitional justice only address crimes of the Taliban?

b) What are victims demanding in terms of justice and reconciliation? How have they mobilized?

c) The amnesty deal for Taliban is very controversial. What are the arguments for and against giving them to the Taliban? What conditions and limits should be included with this amnesty?

d) What, if any proposals, have come from the United Nations on justice in Afghanistan?

d) What cultural mechanisms of dispute resolution mechanisms can be modified for transitional justice?

e) Is this a peace vs. justice dilemma? Should justice wait until the country has stabilized? Or can justice be used to end the insurgency?

(Please provide links to any information you use in our online research.)


15 responses to “Impunity Gap: Afghanistan

  1. aboampon April 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    After completing the readings on the situation in Afghanistan it has become clear to me why the amnesty law has caused so much controversy. It is in my opinion that almost everything about this law is extremely unfair, and the existence of the law itself is leading to greater gaps in impunity. Although I am not sure I believe the law that has been gazetted by Afghan government presents reason for more individuals to join the Taliban like the Guardian article claims, I don’t think this law is good for the victims of atrocities in Afghanistan. I believe that victims have a right to truth and a right to justice in situations such as this. According to the first article by Kouvo and Mazoori , in this situation in particular, many victims have voiced that they believe transitional justice will not undermine stability in the region. Therefore a law which guarantees amnesty for perpetrators goes against not only what the victims want, but what is right as well.

    From the Kouvo and Mazoori reading it seems that victim’s first and foremost want to be acknowledged and heard. The Afghan government has made what seem like half hearted attempts to hear victim’s struggles and the Afghan people have realized the attempts made have been week. Civil society in Afghanistan has been able to successfully mobilize the large victim community to and that matters of justice into their own hands. I thought it was really important that victim’s were able to realize that the government’s version of a Jirga would not provide they type of justice they wanted. In this the victim’s made the significant decision to hold their very own Jirga.

    The Guardian article seems to suggest that the UN is bending over backwards in order to restore peace to the affected areas. It seems both the UN and Afghanistan’s government are behaving in an uncaring matter. An example of this can be seen when looking at how the UN removed five names from its “blacklist” to boost reconciliation. From my limited knowledge of this case it seems that is some conditionality clauses were added to the amnesty act gazetted by Afghanistan’s government would do well in tempering the law. I think establishing a time period for when crimes were committed would help to make the amnesty law fairer. The Guardian article brings up the point that this specific law as well as the actions taken by the United Nations could actually encourage Taliban actions. If a time period was established within the act, I do not think this concern would be valid. Although this in itself is not guaranteeing amnesty, it does however set an important example for victims and perpetrators. In my opinion this sort of action greatly undermines the dignity of victims of the Taliban’s atrocities. Reading about this specific case definitely reminded of what we have been discussing in lecture in regards to East Timor. It seems that more often than not the politics of other countries or global organizers comes between victims and their right to justice and peace.

  2. ecadams April 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    The situation is almost beyond complicated in Afghanistan, if I were not writing on an academic blog I might have used cruder words to describe it. Violence from both local and international fronts has been raging for thirty years, different ethnic groups do not trust each other which has left if difficult for Afghanistan to create a legitimate, centralized government. Not to mention, there has never been a strong centralized government in Afghanistan, where outside of Kabul, clerics and warlords have usually been the ones making the calls. This lack of cohesiveness among the people and lack of legitimacy and strength of government has made it hard to think about where to begin when installing international justice mechanisms, but one thing that the Kouvo and Mazoori article has made clear is that the people of Afghanistan can agree upon one thing: they have suffered and they want justice.

    Through the recent struggles that Afghanistan has faced in the last ten years or so, it has become clear that “peace now justice later” method isn’t working, and if anything delegitimizing the government more.The Guardian Article illustrates that blanket amnesties are not tempting to the insurgents that are the most dangerous, while the amnesty law has had strong opposition from many fronts. From what I have read of the Kouvo and Mazoori article, I think the best way to start going about transitional justice is a truth commission that covers ground back to the Soviet invasion. I say this because I believe only full coverage of the truth and justice will have have positive effects. Because of the deep ethnic divides within Afghanistan, it is important that every voice is heard.

    TC-esque tools have already been used with the Jerga, but a government mandated truth commission with more resources from the international community would certainly be a good first step. Victims want to tell the their stories and they want to be acknowledged. Furthermore, the sharing of these stories can help build trust between different communities. If a truth commission were executed neutrally, this would also help strengthen the legitimacy of the government.

    As we have learned through class and readings, however, that truth commissions are better when used as a complementary mechanism with punitive action. The Kouvo and Mazoori article state that many groups have called for punitive action, while the Wired article stated that the corrupt judiciary in the government has lead groups to go to de facto criminal courts, further undermining it. Thus, punitive action is also a must for the government to become legitimate in the eyes of the people. Due to the fact that atrocities have been committed for over thirty years, punitive action should be reserved for the highest level offenders, while conditional amnesties that require perpetrators to apologize should be used within the truth commission. This combination of punitive action, amnesties and truth can both help unite communities across Afghanistan through acknowledgment and apology, while punitive action will deter future atrocities.

  3. brianumass April 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    The amnesty deal offered to low-ranking Taliban militants seems to be strictly peace based. Unlike the amnesty process in South Africa, there is no application process, public apology, trial, or any reconciliation methods tied into amnesty other than a promise to lay down arms. The direction of peace is the overwhelming argument for the use of this amnesty deal. Thirty years of war, multiple factions and ethnic tensions, and national destabilization are all factors which need peace before any sort of appropriate state structure can be returned to Afghanistan. That said, if amnesty can lead to peace, more appropriate justice measure could be taken later once a stable government is in place. Swift justice and reconciliation is ideal, but not always practical.
    Unfortunately as the Wired article presents, the amnesty deal has influenced an extremely low percentage of Taliban militants to step forward. This low turn-out is a staggering blow to the peace incentive based “advantage” to the amnesty policy. The offer of amnesty invites impunity and arguments about the legitimacy of the government to surface; neither which are beneficial to the already shaky circumstances within the country.
    Furthermore the amnesty deal, assuming for a second that it is reasonable and just, is limited within its scope and fails to target a balanced group of perpetrators. Over the long period(s) of violence there have been multiple actors and potential perpetrator groups. The selectivity of the amnesty process ignores the other groups of perpetrators, which fails to promote peace amongst all the groups involved in the vast amount of crimes.
    Finally, this amnesty process needs to consider additional qualifications for amnesty. Although the TJCG has worked tirelessly to hear victim testimonies and help the integration process of ‘reformed’ members of the Taliban, the simple acknowledgement of refusing to fight is not enough to satisfy victims or reconcile the torn communities these individuals are reentering. Of the Jirga working groups, “five called for formal acknowledgment of past crimes and that perpetrators seek forgiveness.” At the least this amnesty process should reflect the public apology component the South African TRC incorporated. This is the most feasible condition that should be added to the process. The instability of the country would most likely flair if the perpetrators were forced to sit through amnesty trials and extensive victim confrontations, which were also seen in South Africa. Afghanistan is a new set of circumstances but more should be done to aid the victim communities in the short term until peace and stability can be achieved.

  4. michaelbasumass April 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    The Afghanistan situation is complex, stemming from a history of weak governments that have been cycled though quickly. The victims of conflict in Afghanistan are diverse and high in number. The crimes of the Taliban are countless and continue to plague Afghan civilians. Victims of these crimes deserve to have their voices heard. They deserve truth, and they deserve justice. In Kouvo & Mazoori’s article, it is stated that only 10% of Afghans believe that stability and security would decrease as a result of justice for perpetrators. In determining different transitional justice models for mid or post-conflict situations, it is essential to understand the victim perspective in order to properly design a strategy for reconciliation. For the Afghans, it is evident that reconciliation and justice are interconnected. The amnesty policy is not a fair way to address the grievances of Afghan victims. Instead, it will only foster further impunity. In Afghanistan, waiting for peace to confront the issue of justice is not an option. Justice cannot wait until the country has stabilized because the conflict does not show promising signs of subsiding. The violent conflict is too complex and deep rooted. The amnesty program has attracted less than 3% of militants, most of which are not even hardcore Taliban, so it is clear that the amnesty policy is not achieving desired effects.
    I think that some type of hybrid variant of transitional justice would be the most beneficial for Afghan victims. While it may not be feasible to prosecute elite perpetrators in the short term, that should be a priority down the line. In the mean time, there must be a focus on truth telling to help bring some closure to victims and allow for their voices to be heard.

  5. dodger18 April 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    After reviewing the Articles it seems as if the Afghan government was trying to pull a fast one in enacting the amnesty law many years after it was passed. It seems that Karzai along with the U.N wants to bring a swift conclusion to past injustices in order to achieve peace which seems unlikely as very few Taliban insurgents have laid down their weapons. Overwhelming sentiment on the side of the victims shows complete negligence of the current government to act in the interest of those who have suffered most. This blanket amnesty law in past conflicts has not inspired accountability, usually giving motivation to warlords to commit further crimes as they believe a similar stance will be taken in the future. As indicated in the Wire article, “Karzai has been vigorous in calling for justice and investigation after civilian casualty incidents in the current conflict.” So there should be no reason for him to neglect past injustices, for these victims deserve to voice their stories whether it be in the pursuit of justice or truth.
    The U.S sees these amnesties as an effort to reintegrate low-level perpetrators and along with NATO have been aiding Afghanistan in demobilizing these insurgents. However, the problem lies in the lack of protection for the defectors due to retaliation from Taliban members. If the current reconciliatory practice of amnesty and impunity is upheld, then more actions need to be taken to ensure the safety of defectors to coax others to follow suit. Afghan opposition to the amnesty law has been much more vocal. Victims from many different groups seek justice for past crimes, but the government has shown a lack of effort to pursue either justice or truth. Also the amnesties seem to have succeeded in discouraging any prospect of private cases against offenders.
    Kouvo and Mazoori describe the disorder caused by the many ethnic and social divides of the victim groups. As victims they are weak either due to demoralization or economic losses, and this makes it hard to mobilize under one network to pursue a fair conclusion. The TJCG has advocated truth for the victims, showing that victims want to share their stories in pursuing transitional justice. I believe that this would better be approached using a regional method for addressing in what way each group was victimized and what they wish for the TJCG accomplish. The method of simply trying to motivate all victims on a national scale seems to be having little success, without the help of the government. The government must come to terms with the application of transitional justice and apply past methods to ensure extended peace.

  6. mbaglane April 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Learning more about the situation in Afghanistan has once again shown how incredibly important it is to involve local people and victims in the process of transitional justice. I will first answer the question “What are victims demanding in terms of justice and reconciliation? How have they mobilized?” and then elaborate.

    The TJCG, Time Victims’ Jirga for Justice, and the National Conference on Victims’ Coordination and Networking been important in victim mobilization and discussion. Victims have argued that without strong efforts to organize themselves they won’t be heard. In Kouvo and Mzoori’s article, they discussed how the UN sponsored power sharing conference barely gave any attention at all to justice and accountability which seems quite confusing…the authors did note the Bon Agreement which resulted from the conference did call for the establishment of the AIHRC, but I just don’t really understand how such a conference could not place more emphasis on the importance of justice and accountability.

    There is tension between small local organizations without much money and large international institutions, which seems to be a running theme in global development projects. The authors note that the TJCG is a good example of civil society activism and cooperation in the process. One interesting point of mobilization was the alternative jirga, which sought to be more inclusive. According to Kouvu and Mzoori, victims in Afghanistan have been eager to have crimes be recognized. Prosecution, removal of known perpetrators from positions of power, and acknowledgments of past crimes are important.

    Confusion among Afghans is also important to touch on. The Wired article talks about how Afghans are unsure of NATO’s distinction between reconciliation and reintegration, and that they truly want a peace deal.

    Once again we see the struggles and tensions between local victim groups/civil society and international institutions. Victims in Afghanistan want their voices heard and stories told, but it is a complicated situation among discussions of amnesty and impunity.

  7. aojustice2012 April 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    The impunity law in Afghanistan seems like a big let-down. If the general public does not accept the proposed transitional justice scheme, it won’t be seen as legitimate by victims or perpetrators. It is important that returning Taliban fighters really can regain their honor to be able to reintegrate into society, if the transitional justice is not seen as legitimate, then they will not be able to do so. It makes sense then that only around 800 members, a relatively low number, would have accepted the program. The fact that so many did, even when the program is relatively new and not generally accepted could be viewed positively – that they were willing to try, despite the outlook. Hopefully this means that there is a willingness among the people to find some form of reconciliation. The Jirga spoken about seems to be the best method to achieve any form of justice or accountability that would lead to reconciliation. It provides the opportunity for victims to voice their concerns and regain some agency. It is important that the people are developing a clear and directed voice, so that they may be heard among the cacophony of international stakeholders.

  8. c131178n April 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    From the Kouvo and Mazoori reading, it seems clear that the Afghan victims are strongly demanding their voice to be heard. They perceive themselves as a group that has not been listened to, has been in the weakest position, and therefore eager to tell their stories and involve in the reconciliation process. Judging from the early political choices that the Afghan government made, the state of impunity and insecurity made the victims highly vulnerable. The only progress was the development of the TJCG, which is the national victims’ network that included victims from all parts of Afghanistan.
    I think justice cannot and should not wait until the country has stabilized in this specific case. Firstly, victims especially those whom survived the atrocities by the Taliban, have already been waiting for more than decades to be mobilized. Afghanistan has been in the worst instable situation for half-century, and as the third article suggests, it could take as long as another decade to complete the “so called reintegration process” which seeks to compel low-ranking insurgents to reintegrate. Secondly, progressing transitional justice would not cause instability and rather it can be useful for ending insurgency. According to Kouvo and Mazoori, TJCG has succeeded in getting transitional justice materials covered in the media and ensuring that some sort of public discussion takes place. This success of civil society activism and cooperation suggests that insurgencies will less likely to be agitated by these forms of transitional justice. Moreover, the experience from victim’s jirga for justice shows how incorporating victims promote both past acknowledgment and forward-looking peace consultation.
    According to the third article, the most important element for both reconciliation and reintegration in Afghanistan is to build trust among citizens or insurgents and the government. This sort of trust can be enhanced if the government is capable in providing a better reintegration program to protect insurgents from the Taliban and ensure jobs or education. Therefore, urging peace deals by granting amnesty is rather counterproductive because 1) it gives impression to the public that the government is weak, which potentially encourages more people to join the Taliban, 2) it decreases the pressure towards the Taliban to participate in reconciliation talks, and 3) it rubs victim’s feelings in a wrong way by bringing impunity which creates more distrust.

  9. nchapin April 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Stemming directly from the belief that victim approval and participation is the most integral portion of transitional justice and reconciliation, I believe that the Victims Jirga, or council, is a great success and an example of the best way to move towards peace in Afghanistan. With 76% of respondents from a 2005 national survey indicating that they believe justice, or at very least acknowledgment and apologies for crimes, would contribute to peace and security, it is evident that justice can precede peace in Afghanistan. From these expressions of desires for restorative justice, and the current shortcomings of reconciliation committees (which only exist in 15/34 of the Afghan provinces) I believe it would be prudent to move towards a policy similar to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. Perpetrators on all sides should be encouraged to come to the table and redeem themselves by detailing the extent of their crimes. Applications for amnesties should be considered, with absolution granted to low level and the most repentant offenders. What is most important is the level of involvement by the Afghan populace, as demonstrated by the successes of the Jirga.

  10. umassyl April 6, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    After reading these article I believe that this law will cause greater impunity gaps. The The victims in these cases should have the right to justice and the right to know the truth. It is crucial that the Afghan government doesn’t overlook their rights in order to push for a quick peace deals. In Boone’s article he made good point when he explain that the law “encourage people to act with impunity” this could push more people to join the Taliban. I believe this is a major issue and can be true. I also believe that it’s important for the former Taliban fighters to be able to transitions back into to normal society.

  11. Alana Tiemessen April 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Great stuff everyone. Collectively you identified many of the political tensions with justice issues in Afghanistan.

    There seems to be consensus in the above comments that the amnesty is not particularly effective or just, but that perhaps with more conditions and victim consultation it could be…?

    Another area of consensus is that the government seems to be prioritizing political “reconciliation” with the Taliban over the needs and wishes of victims. Undoubtedly the victim’s jirga is a milestone, but it is still outside the political process.

    One are of disagreement is on sequencing. Should justice wait for peace? Are there mechanisms of justice that can be used now – such as a truth commission?

    One of the articles addressed that it’s not clear what “reconciliation” and “reintegration” mean for and to the Taliban. I think this is an important point and leaves these concepts open to manipulation or misinterpretation.

  12. kmumass April 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    a) What types of atrocities in Afghanistan should be addressed by transitional justice mechanisms? Should transitional justice only address crimes of the Taliban?
    It was stated that, “…the statebuilding process has been marked by corruption, an increase in organized crime and a state of im- punity, leading to destabilization and the reemergence of conflict”(Kuovo 2). In essence Afghanistan’s central government became so weak that only sense of order became the Taliban, who initially offered stability, but came to enact war crimes against the people of Afghanistan. Also war lords ruthlessly took over their respective areas, killing those who rose up against them. No, TJ needs to address the war lords as well, due to the fact that they, in many cases did just as cruel and evil of acts as the Taliban.

    b) What are victims demanding in terms of justice and reconciliation? How have they mobilized?
    The victims just want justice, whether if it be a trial or a public apology. One man stated that, “We do not want revenge or to wash blood with blood but at least these criminals should come and publicly apologize to the people of Afghanistan”(Kuovo 1). Like many other victims from other acts of cruelty , “They wanted their stories told, they wanted the names of their murdered family members known and they wanted recognition of what had happened to them”(Kuovo 5).

    C ) The amnesty deal for Taliban is very controversial. What are the arguments for and against giving them to the Taliban? What conditions and limits should be included with this amnesty?
    The arguments for the amnesty laws are that it helps to avoid more conflict and logically not all perpatrators can be put on trial and this helps the biggest offenders get tried and makes sure that the lesser perpatrators are not charged.The arguments against the amnesty laws are that it ignores the rights of the victims and is done only to avoid conflict with Karzai. It was stated that,“Brad Adams, the Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said the law was a ‘total abdication of the state’s responsibility to investigate and prosecute crimes’(Boone 1). This amnesty is quite flawed only addressing three percent of the people who were charged. This is clearly unacceptable and needs to be changed. The only people that should be allowed amnesty are child soldiers and extremely low level perpatrators.

    d) What, if any proposals, have come from the United Nations on justice in Afghanistan?
    The Bonn Agreement was from the UN and created the AIHRC, which was the most powerful TJ system in Afghanistan. Although clearly the TJ is still not doing enough because it was stated that,“The UN-sponsored power-sharing conference organized after the US-led mili- tary intervention gave little attention to justice and accountability”(Kuovo 3). Also, “The international community, particularly the UN, the EU, the Netherlands and Canada, pushed the government to adopt the four-year, five-point Action Plan for Peace, Reconciliation and Justice”(Kuovo 4). This program involved the blanet amnesty bill, which is very unpopular and controversially helpful.

    g) Is this a peace vs. justice dilemma? Should justice wait until the country has stabilized? Or can justice be used to end the insurgency?

    Yes I would definitely say it is one. In many ways I think it would be more effective if justice waited for country stability but I think this does dis-justice to the victims and this process is done for the victims. Therefore justice should be harsh and swift and if it is done as such it definitiely would slowly but surely end insurgency.

  13. skmonroe707 April 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Amnesties always end up being controversial, but looking at amnesties as a response to crimes against humanity and war crimes in afghanistan is especially so. Afghanistan has a completely fractured history of fighting. One faction against a second followed by a third faction fighting a fourth and then a few years later these factions are turning atrocities onto people that were once their allies. The Mazoori and Kouvo article talks about how the majority of Afghans have been effected by the violence of the 30 years of fighting, and so amnesties cannot be a simple response to a problem that is entirely nationwide, and concerns, almost quite literally, every Afghan citizen.
    There is a great draw for amnesties. The wired article discusses how the amnesty deal would include the person seeking amnesty giving up fighting in return for the deal. This is fantastic in itself because if the amnesties could create a large draw then the fighitng would stop, no doubt why the U.S. backs this. However the article also explains how only three percent of the Taliban forces have sought amnesty, and only from areas where there is less fighting and more stability. So it’s really having no impact on the most dangerous of the conflict areas at all.
    The wired article also talks about how there won’t simply be a military end to the conflict in Afghanistan, that only a multitude of political deals is thought to be estimated as a solution. This is evidence against amnesties because it shows how problematic the whole deal could be. With the Afghani people split as they are, on almost every issue, a widespread solution simply cannot work. A majority of the Afghani people say they believe justice will be had for war criminals, according to the mazoori article, however this means that a majority of the people would have to be held responsible. The situation is too diverse, as far as the criminal populace is concerned, for amnesties to be a logical choice.

  14. billvancour April 9, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    As others have also noted, I think that the thing that struck me most when reading these articles and looking for some additional information is the amnesty deal for the Taliban and other perpetrators. Afghans have endured decades of continual war, and some have been victimized multiple times throughout the different eras of the conflict. For these reasons it is totally understandable and expected that many Afghans are fed up, and are demanding to see some resolution and prosecution to deal with this history of abuses. But that’s the thing, Afghans want perpetrators to be prosecuted, and past abuses to be addressed and not just swept under the rug and ignored. Unfortunately, that is precisely what this amnesty deal seems to do. As was pointed out in the article by Kouvo and Mazoori, a large majority of Afghans involved in the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission are in favor of prosecutions, making the passage of the amnesty law and its eventual implementation such a point of contention. Afghans wish to face the past, deal with it, and look to the future. However, those in positions of power (in many cases being the same individuals who could be held accountable for human rights abuses) want nothing of the sort. What I think is probably most interesting about this amnesty deal through is how under utilized it has been so far. The Wired article mentions that only about 800 Taliban members – 3% of the total estimated number – have stepped forward and taken advantage of the deal, and those who have are low level insurgents hailing from the north and west, far from the Taliban strongholds in the south and east. With so few fighters deciding to lay down their arms and end their involvement in the conflict it certainly seems the be the case that this amnesty deal is a complete failure – never mind its direct conflict with the interests and desires of Afghans overall. I think that past uses of amnesties in places like South Africa have proved to be helpful to the pursuit of peace, justice, and reconciliation but it has to be something that the people themselves desire, and cannot be forced on them by the government (and in particular by some the the very people who have made the past abuses possible). It is a complicated situation in Afghanistan, and in some ways you cannot fault the government for trying out this amnesty deal, but it is obvious that it needs to be repealed. The country has a real need to deal with its history of violence and conflict, but that is going to be nearly impossible while this amnesty law remains in place, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem like that will be happening anytime soon. Beyond that, I don’t think any really progress can be made, or justice achieved while conflict is still ongoing, and the failure of the amnesty deals to entice any legitimate fighters makes a compelling case that we have yet to see end of abuses and conflict in Afghanistan.

  15. wfstates April 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

    The article, Reconciliation, Justice and Mobilization of War Victims in Afghanistan by Kouvo and Mazoori highlights an important part about the long term affects of justice in Afghanistan. When describing the Victims’ Jirga for Justice, Louvo and Mazoor write, “What was apparent is that the suffering endured by Afghans over the course of the past three decades knows no geographic, temporal or ethnic bounds. In short, everybody has suffered. Acknowledgment of this universal suffering is an important first step, given the lack of trust in Afghan society”. I believe this is a very important issue when addressing our first question ” What types of atrocities in Afghanistan should be addressed by transitional justice mechanisms? Should transitional justice only address crimes of the Taliban?” Its clear that many atrocities have happened in Afghanistan’s difficult and war torn history, and its extremely difficult to solely single out a time period where people can utilize the Victims’ Jirga. From my perspective I feel that for the case in Afghanistan, justice mechanisms should try to adjudicate injustices pre-Taliban. I know this may not be feasible due to the size and scope of the crimes committed and Afghanistan’s instability, but many of victims who suffered through crimes committed pre-Taliban have not had opportunity to have their voices heard.

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