Two years ago, the Taliban took over control of Kabul and thus re-established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Despite promises to the contrary, kidnappings, arbitrary detentions, revenge killings and other human rights violations became the order of the day – amidst an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe.

This conference presents the key findings of a research project conducted by Human Rights Research League (HRRL), documenting revenge killings and other serious violations of Human Rights since the Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan.

The research report details victim profiles, categories, frequencies, and patterns of crime, and exemplifies the complexity of the situation with the help of actual cases, based on 400+ on the ground interviews in all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces in addition to other sources of information.

The presentation will be followed by commentaries to and discussions of the report’s findings as well as of other current and future challenges in Afghanistan and how states should deal with the Taliban government on the world stage.

The conference will ultimately try to look ahead and discuss what’s in store for the people of Afghanistan and to what extent and at what cost engagement with or disengagement from the de facto authorities may be justified.

The Taliban talks in Oslo will also be the case to discuss state power of opinion, opinion formation and discourse management in defining and defending foreign policy choices.

The event will also be live-streamed through NUPI's YouTube channel. No registration needed for online participation.

This research project has been supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fritt Ord Foundation.


12:00 Welcome by NUPI Director Kari Osland
12:10 Report Presentation: Revenge Killings and Other Serious Human Rights Violations in Afghanistan in the Aftermath of the Taliban’s Seizure of Power
  • Tom Syring, Human Rights Research League
12:40 Comments and Insights: Reporting on the Human Rights Situation in Afghanistan
  • Richard Bennett, UN SR on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan
13:10 Q & A
13:25 Commentary: The Situation in Afghanistan
  • Youssof Ghafoorzai, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Norway
13:35 Roundtable: Current and Future Challenges in Afghanistan
  • Fereshta Abbasi (HRW)
  • Richard Bennett (UN SR on Afghanistan)
  • Tom Syring (HRRL)
  • Nazifa Jalali (CMNO)
14:30 Coffee break
14:45 Roundtable: Dealing with the Taliban: Power of opinion, opinion formation and discourse management in defining and defending foreign policy choices


  • Ola Elvestuen (MP)
  • Nazifa Jalali (CMNO)
  • Youssof Ghafoorzai (Ambassador of Afghanistan to Norway)
15:30 Concluding remarks