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URA Archive
Scholars 2008 - 2009

Hannah Saeed, Political Science

"Stopping the Cycle of Violence in Afghanistan--The Role of a Truth Commission"
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeffery Davis
Expected Graduation Date: December 2008
Contact: sah1@umbc.edu

Since 1974, Truth Commissions have been recognized, in at least twenty countries, as an instrumental apparatus for justice. Advocates and scholars agree that countries in transition from dictatorship, civil war or authoritarian regimes need to deal with the past crimes in order to establish a stable and durable democracy. Afghanistan is one such country. The events of September 11th lead to the removal of Taliban, but justice has not been brought to the perpetrators of the past three decades of crimes under three different regimes. To the contrary, their power has been legitimized through their presence in the current government. Although there have been some efforts by organizations such as Human Rights Watch, International Center for Transitional Justice and Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, no tangible step has been taken in this direction. This study tends to explore whether and why a Truth Commission might be necessary for an effective transitional justice system that will lead to a stable democracy in Afghanistan.