TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE IN AFGHANISTAN: THE NEED AND CHALLENGES TO THE TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE PROCESSES AND THE DEBATE ON IMPUNITY VS. ACCOUNTABILITY
Languages spoken: Kannada, English, French
Thesis Advisor: Professor Louis Aucoin
Afghanistan has been in a constant state of conflict for the past three decades, beginning with the Saur revolution in 1978 to the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. The people of this country were subjected to the most brutal forms of human rights violations including forced disappearances, torture, mass executions, civil conflicts, internal displacements, and forced migrations. As the violence continues, the sufferings of the citizens are far from over. Since 2005, though there has been a Parliamentary form of government in place, there has been a lack of effort to meaningfully address the past human rights abuses. Many factors, including hazardous security situations, the weakened status of the government and its institutions, and more importantly, the fact that many of the perpetrators of the crimes continue to remain an integral part of the present government, have dangerously contributed to the entrenchment of impunity in Afghanistan. The military presence of the international community is set to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014, and the Government is clearly not taking steps to make accountable those responsible for the extraordinary crimes committed during the years of conflict. This thesis thus seeks to understand the need for any Transitional Justice process to be implemented in Afghanistan and the challenges to such processes. It is my argument that as the people of Afghanistan are increasingly demanding justice and accountability for past crimes, for any lasting peace and stability in the country, it is imperative that the Transitional Justice mechanisms be employed effectively so as to heal the society and the people of Afghanistan.
Suparva Narasimhaiah graduated with her first degree in law (LLB) from Gujarat National Law University, India in 2010. While pursuing her LLB, she participated in several moot competitions in India and abroad, including the Willem C. Vis Arbitration Moot and the International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot. Suparva was also an active member of the sports committee and participated in several legal service/legal aid campaigns. She has interned with many NGOs and Government departments/ organizations working on the drive against Female Feticide in India campaigns. She has also interned with the international NGO, “International Justice Mission” for two consecutive summers, where she had the opportunity to work on the Bonded Labor issues in India. On graduating from GNLU, Suparva had the opportunity to work with Indian Council of World Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, where she worked on a policy paper titled “Water Related Issues In India – China Relations: Can There Be Greater Cooperation?” in which she has analyzed the nature of the existing bilateral ties between India and China, and specifically advised on any treaty initiatives between the two countries for resolving the water sharing disputes. She was thereafter appointed as a Law Clerk cum Research Assistant to a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India, the Honorable Mr. Justice R.M.Lodha. At Fletcher, she has strived to expand her knowledge about International Law and Diplomacy, and more specifically, in relation to the United Nations Organization, where she hopes to pursue a career. She is currently Research Assistant at the UN Office of Legal Affairs, Codification Division, in New York, NY.