March 07, 2019
The second AHRDO Thematic Seminar on Justice, Tolerance and Peace-building was conducted on 7 March 2019. The participants of the Seminar first visited the Centre and then joined the event which started at 10:00 am. The Seminar started with a short speech by Hadi Marifat about victim-centered transitional justice. He discussed the complexity of transitional justice and the related theoretical and practical issues in the context of Afghanistan and discussed transitional justice in relation to the victims. He criticized how it has been theoretically over simplified considering we have witnessed multiple phases of political and ethnic violence and practically, the very people who have been the perpetrators are in power so too much focus on them and holding them accountable in transitional justice has actually provoked extreme reaction resistance from their side. He then explained how AHRDO’s work of educating the Afghan civilians through such seminars, mobilizing the victims who now have eight councils in different areas of Afghanistan, and documenting the consequences of war actually helps in a better definition of transitional justice.
The other panelist of the seminar was Ehsan Qane, a political analyst from Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) and a member of the Afghanistan TJCG who talked about retributive and restorative justice. Generally, he discussed how retributive justice is about legal and human rights of individuals and restorative justice focuses more on the political and moral justice and on groups. Retributive justice, as he described during the event, looks mainly at the past and punishment but restorative justice not only looks at the past but also looks at the future and actually looks at ways to heal the society, it actually puts the victims at the center and finds ways to heal their wounds. In restorative justice, the victims are actively involved in the process.