Afghan human rights defenders are among the bravest in the world. Despite being on the receiving end of threats, harassment, intimidation, violence, and assassinations, they continue to fight for the rights of Afghans. To complicate matters further, effective investigations into attacks and threats against activists–by both state and non-state actors–are rare, as perpetrators regularly evade justice and fuel a cycle of impunity.
Additionally, since the US-Taliban agreement in February 2020, targeted assassinations have silenced activists, human rights defenders, educators, journalists, and others who speak the truth about atrocities being committed in Afghanistan. Despite these conditions, Afghanistan’s human rights defenders bravely continue their vital work, and as the full US and NATO troop withdrawal looms in September, their work is more important now than ever.
Join the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center for a discussion with some of Afghanistan’s leading human rights defenders and experts to explore what lies ahead for the activists who put their lives on the line to fight violence, impunity, and militancy.
Afghan human rights activist, political analyst, and journalist
South Asia Regional Campaigner
Women’s Regional Network
Afghan human rights defender
Nonresident senior fellow
Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center
The South Asia Center (SAC) is the hub for the Atlantic Council’s analysis of the political, social, geographical, and cultural diversity of the region.
At the intersection of South Asia and its geopolitics, SAC cultivates dialogue to shape policy and forge ties between the region and the global community.
Feature Apr 22, 2021
A transatlantic charter for peace and security in Afghanistan
By South Asia Center
The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center presents the exclusive launch of the Transatlantic Charter on Afghanistan as part of the Strategic Dialogues on and with Afghanistan.
New Atlanticist Jun 29, 2020
A divided Taliban could unleash a new proxy war in Afghanistan
By Jared Schwartz and Yelena Biberman
The shift in the balance of power within the Taliban has the potential to upend Afghan security, India-Pakistan relations, and the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
SouthAsiaSource Feb 4, 2021
A house divided: Afghanistan neighbors’ power play and regional countries’ hedging strategies for peace
By Tamim Asey
Afghanistan is once again at a cross-roads facing an uncertain future. The United States, intent on ending its longest war, is hoping to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan with a timeline based on the US-Taliban agreement, now under review by the new Biden administration. Afghanistan’s neighbors, hedging their bets and securing their borders, are expecting that the ensuing chaos will help to ensure that their geopolitical interests are served via proxies or at least a friendly government in Kabul.