iOS app Android app

Jonathan Horowitz
GET UPDATES FROM Jonathan Horowitz
Jonathan Horowitz was a grantee, from 2009 - 2010, working on conflict-related detentions in Afghanistan for the Open Society Foundations. He also worked for the UN in Sudan and holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex, UK.

Entries by Jonathan Horowitz

Standing at the Crossroads of Violence and Human Rights

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 2:49 PM

Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch's John Sifton and I met with a nongovernmental organization to discuss options for holding governments accountable for post-9/11 torture. When Sifton said the word "torture" in the course of conversation he clenched his hands and made a twisting motion. "Torture" was taken...

Read Post

Trouble Looms as Kenya Struggles to Combat Terrorism

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 12:47 PM

Kenya's fear of terrorism, and its poor response, is plaguing the large port city and tourism hub of Mombasa.

In a Mombasa courtroom earlier this month, amidst protests from the prosecution that cameras and notepads be barred for security reasons, the presiding judge issued a summons for the...

Read Post

Bagram's Evil Twin

(14) Comments | Posted October 14, 2010 | 6:03 PM

When the U.S. military opened a new detention facility in Bagram in late 2009, I gave credit where credit was due. "It's clear that the authorities looked back at lessons learned from eight years of blunders and abuse in designing the new lock-up facility," I wrote in a Huffington Post...

Read Post

Reality Check: Afghans Blame Us, Not Insurgents

(107) Comments | Posted October 7, 2010 | 3:49 PM

Afghan distrust of international forces runs so deep that many accuse the West of supporting insurgents to justify their continued presence in Afghanistan. Military officials and diplomats cast these allegations aside as conspiracy theories existing on the margins of society, but a new report by the Open Society...

Read Post

Bagram Renditions Risk Serious Consequences

(26) Comments | Posted July 12, 2010 | 12:39 PM

The U.S. run prison on Bagram Air Base, and the abuses that took place there, have been a lightning rod for international and domestic criticism of U.S. detention policy. Over the past year, the U.S. military has set out to disarm its critics. While still banning defense lawyers from Bagram...

Read Post

New Detention Rules Show Promise and Problems

(2) Comments | Posted April 20, 2010 | 1:01 PM

After years of blundered war-time detention policy, the U.S. military recently revamped its way of deciding who should be detained and released in Afghanistan.

The new system features Detainee Review Boards (DRBs) where detainees appear before a three-member U.S. military panel that determines whether a detainee should be released,...

Read Post

New Rules on Night Raids a Good Start

(1) Comments | Posted March 5, 2010 | 3:40 PM

Yesterday, the leader of international military forces in Afghanistan announced changes to the way his forces conduct war. Days after the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke about the need to reduce Afghan resentment and ill-will towards the U.S. military, General McChrystal made public a new...

Read Post

Fix Night Raids in Afghanistan

(3) Comments | Posted February 23, 2010 | 9:18 AM

While international forces in Afghanistan have killed fewer civilians in 2009 than in previous years many Afghans still feel abused and angry. One of the main reasons is night raids.

The military insists that conducting operations at night is necessary because it gives them the element of...

Read Post

The New Bagram: Has Anything Changed?

(15) Comments | Posted November 20, 2009 | 4:16 PM

Last weekend, the United States unveiled its new state of the art detention facility to journalists, diplomats, Afghan officials, and nongovernmental organizations. After participating in the tour, I give the new facility a "vastly improved" grade compared to the Bagram Theater Internment Facility (BTIF), but U.S. detention policy has a...

Read Post

Afghan Working Group Calls for Transparency at Bagram

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2009 | 12:29 PM

Last week, the Afghanistan Working Group on Conflict-Related Detentions urged the United States to open the Bagram detention facility to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and to better respect Afghan law. The joint call for accountability is the first time the group publicly issued a statement.

Read Post

Better Evidence Will Lead To More Justice In Afghanistan

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2009 | 9:31 AM

Rule of law is the lynchpin to long-term stability in Afghanistan. Yet the military's tradition of steering clear of law enforcement activities, especially evidence-gathering responsibilities, is weakening Afghanistan's already imperiled justice system.

A recommendation in Gen. Stanley McChrystal's Afghanistan assessment may finally cast that tradition aside. It suggests...

Read Post

New Bagram Prison Procedures Still Fall Short

(1) Comments | Posted September 21, 2009 | 10:11 AM

The Obama administration is establishing new procedures for holding detainees at the Bagram military base. And while they are a step in the right direction, they fail to create a fair and effective detention system that will be credible in the eyes of the Afghan government, the Afghan people,...

Read Post

Bagram Prison Threatens Success in Afghanistan

(34) Comments | Posted September 2, 2009 | 3:49 PM

The U.S. military finally seems to have learned that dropping bombs on civilians isn't the way to win the hearts and minds of Afghans. But neither is grabbing people out of their houses and throwing them in jail indefinitely with no rights.

For seven years, U.S. detention policy has undermined...

Read Post

Former Bagram Detainee Describes "Completely Wild" Arrest, Interrogation By US Troops

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2009 | 3:37 PM

* Scroll down for the Pentagon's response.

Text and photos by Jonathan Horowitz, a consultant working in Afghanistan for the Open Society Institute.

I recently sat down with an Afghan farmer who had been detained by US forces. He shared his experience at Bagram and his views on US detention...

Read Post