Justice and security

Imprisonment and The Pertinent Laws in Afghanistan: A Focus On The History Of Policharkhi Prison (in Dari Language)

Middle East
Van Vollenhove Institute, Leiden Law School

This research explores the history of imprisonment and the relevant legal frameworks guiding the practice of punishment in Afghanistan. It starts with a brief overview of the general history of imprisonment and maintains an account of the rehabilitation aspect of the applicable laws and regulations enacted throughout history. Against the resulted contextual and legal framework, the article follows on to the history and objectives of Policharkhi prison as its case study.

The research maintains that after the independence of Afghanistan in 1919 and particularly with the fall of authoritarian regimes, there have been attempts to control a predominantly negative use and adverse conditions of prison institutions. The birth of Policharkhi prison, in more recent history, was a step towards further improvements in prison conditions that could lead to a standardized system of imprisonment. However, in a politically turbulent context, the expected gains did not materialize. In a position of displaying some of the contextual factors that contributed to the failure, the article presents a detailed account of the Policharkhi prison during four different political regimes throughout its history. The research concludes with some remarks on necessary changes required in the current system of imprisonment in general and at Policharkhi prison in particular.

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