On 08 December, 2022, at 15:00 – 16:30 CET the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) hosted a joint Live Briefing for the release of a new policy brief, ‘Aligning Counter-Terrorism with Efforts to Preserve Long-Term Justice and Accountability in Afghanistan.’ Author of the policy brief is Megan L. Manion, Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center, University of Minnesota Law School and Senior Legal Advisor to Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.
The Policy Brief focuses on the continued primacy of the counter-terrorism lens for State multilateral responses to the political situation in Afghanistan and the connected negative implications for long-term justice and accountability. Specifically, the continued discussion remains framed in underlying dichotomies, such as the counter-terrorism and international security versus the human security and rights of Afghan people. The brief aims to demonstrate how the legacy of and continued misalignment of counter-terrorism and international-centric security priorities, paired with the “radical legal uncertainty” that Afghans experience in the administration of rule of law and access to justice, may threaten to undermine the effectiveness of policies that could otherwise contribute to improvements in Afghanistan.
In making the case that counter-terrorism policy experts have an opportunity to chart an alternative path towards rule of law based approaches to counter-terrorism, particularly for Afghanistan (but also beyond), the brief articulates how counter-terrorism practitioners and the political processes informed by their work, may be better equipped to contribute to long-term peace and security and long-term justice and accountability – for the Afghan people, not just the international community.
The Policy Brief will highlight concrete pathways to accomplish such a shift that are immediately realizable in the context of ongoing international peace and security and human rights processes. While this brief focuses on the role of counter-terrorism experts and practitioners in multi-lateral spaces much of the analysis and recommendations will also be applicable to those bilateral and regional efforts in Afghanistan.
Preparation of the policy brief relied on discussions with a range of Afghan and international interlocutors.
Moderator – Tanya Mehra, Programme Lead at the Rule of Law Responses to Terrorism Pillar at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism.
Speaker – Megan L. Manion, Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center, University of Minnesota Law School and Senior Legal Advisor to Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, author of Aligning Counter-Terrorism with Efforts to Preserve Long-Term Justice and Accountability in Afghanistan.
For related readings on the counter-terrorism, human rights, and long-term justice and accountability issues in Afghanistan, please see:
- Akbar, Shaharzad, A Crisis of Justice for Afghan Victims of War, Just Security August 31, 2022
- Bennet, Richard, Report of the United Nations, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, A/HRC/51/6, 6 September, 2022.
- Mehra, T. and Coleman, J. The Fall of Afghanistan: A Blow to Counter-Terrorism and Rule of Law Efforts. Perspective, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague, 23 August 2021