A key resource for the Afghanistan programme is our Afghan Research Fellows. The fellowships have the format of one-year scholarships, where incumbents are supported in conducting individual research, supported by mentors and with access to the RWI library and related resources. The fellows also play the role as experts and contribute as such both in RWI activities and in external forums.
In 2022, three Afghan professionals spent a year at the Institute to study and to conduct research on human rights issues in Afghanistan, and to participate in RWI and external forums of relevance to their research and interests.
In 2023, four new Fellows were recruited, with the explicit role to also support the research agenda of the visiting professor in his UNSR mandate. The fellows will accompany the visiting professor in related sessions and events at the Human Rights Council and in other external forums that are relevant for their research, and for expanding outreach and results of programme activities.
RWI Research fellows are selected through a thorough, independent process, where a committee reviews all applications against qualification criteria set out in the advertisement of the open call for applications, and with a view to ensure as wide representation as possible in terms of gender and ethnic groups.
You can read more about our fellows and their research below and by following RWI’s newsletter and social media channels.
Research Fellows 2024
Maliha, with a background in International Relations and two master’s degrees, is currently engaged in a fellowship at RWI. While she has not started her third master’s thesis, she plans to undertake it when time permits after her current commitment.
Her role as a research assistant at RWI and SASNET , coupled with her contributions to Malmö University , reflects Maliha’s journey of continuous learning and dedication in academia. Beyond academic pursuits, she actively participates in community initiatives in Malmö, holding leadership positions in the Afghan Forum Afghanska Akademiska Kulturcentrum i Sverige and serving as the President of International Afghan Enlightened Women. In these roles, she modestly advocates for women’s rights and supports girls in pursuing education.
Maliha’s involvement in the research initiative “Vad hände sedan” and her work on immigrant-related projects demonstrates her commitment and language skills as a research assistant. Modestly conducting interviews, translating, and transcribing Dari into Swedish, she contributes to various research projects. Her achievements modestly extend to advocating for women’s careers and active participation in diverse organizations.
In essence, Maliha views her journey as a humble pursuit of knowledge, aspiring to make positive contributions both in academia and community service.
Latifa Jafari Alavi
Latifa Jafari Alavi is a researcher on international criminal law and human rights. Latifa obtained her PhD in International Law from Strasbourg University, with a dissertation titled “Impunity for International Crimes in Afghanistan, the Failure of Complementarity, and the Need for Alternatives.” Additionally, she holds an LLM in European Private International Law from Dundee University and a master’s degree in International and European Law from Toulouse Capitole University. Latifa has previously worked for various international legal organizations including the ICC and IDLO. In addition, she has collaborated with several national NGOs in Afghanistan and Iran. She is currently engaged in research on intersectionality and human rights. Her research interests cover a wide range of topics such asarmed conflict, impunity for international crimes, the role of the ICC in Afghanistan, alternative justice measures, minority groups and intersectionality, human rights, andenvironmental law.
Hamid A. Formuli
Hamid A. Formuli is a human rights practitioner and a former career diplomat.
His tenure at the Afghan foreign service spans over 8 years, boasting an impactful career across various roles, starting from a consular associate, law and treaties officer to special aide to the deputy foreign minister for economic cooperation.
Hamid previously served as the Head of the Human Rights Section of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the UN in Geneva, and alternative permanent representative to the Human Rights Council during Afghanistan’s first ever membership of the body and as an expert at its Bureau during Afghanistan’s vice–presidency in 2020.
Since 2022 Hamid Formuli has been a founding member and Senior Fellow at the Center for Dialogue and Progress – Geneva, where he leads activities on human rights monitoring and advocacy through research, legal analysis, and events organization.
Academically, he holds a Bachelors in Law and Political Science from Kabul University and earned a Master (Summa Cum Laude) of International Studies from Seoul National University, South Korea, focusing on International Development Cooperation Policy and Global Governance.
His research interests include nexus between conflict and development, International and UN-mandated accountability mechanisms, politics of international human rights action, and management of diversity in pluricultural societies.
Hamid is fluent in Dari/Pashto and English, proficient in German and has basic knowledge of French and Spanish.
Kobra Moradi is a lawyer with a focus on human rights and international law. She has previously worked on international criminal accountability at the Australian Centre for International Justice, Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization, UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, and Clooney Foundation for Justice.
Kobra is a law and international relations graduate. She also holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the Australian National University, where she wrote her research dissertation on victim-centered transitional justice and Islamic law.
Haroun Rahimi is an Associate Professor of Law and the interim chair of Law Department at the American University of Afghanistan. Rahimi is also a Global Academy Scholar at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). Rahimi’s research focuses on economic laws, institutional reform, Islamic finance, and divergent conceptions of rule of law in Muslim and modern thoughts, and religious authority. Rahimi’s research has appeared in reputable local and international journals. Rahimi has also collaborated as an independent consultant with a number of research firms and policy think tanks conducting policy research on institutional development and good governance in the South Asia context. He was a visiting professor at Università Bocconi. At the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Rahimi has worked on Islamic finance as a poverty alleviation strategy, the legal history of Afghanistan, and the ways that legal transplantation is legitimized in Muslim countries. Rahimi was a visiting scholar at the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) in Rome. Haroun Rahimi obtained his B.A. in Law from Herat University, his LLM in Global Business Law, and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington.
Humaira Rasuli is an Afghan human rights lawyer and women empowerment activist. She is also the Co-Founder and Director of Women for Justice Organization in Afghanistan (WJO). Humaira has a bachelor’s degree in Law and Political Science, practiced as an attorney in Afghanistan, and registered with the Afghan Bar Association as a Human Rights Attorney. She is also a certified trauma counselor and has a diploma in Business Administration.
Humaira has over 20 years of experience working in Afghanistan on issues related to gender, human rights, civil society development and rule of law. Her extensive experience includes senior management positions, development and leading two prominent NOGs in Afghanistan, training and mentoring lawyers and activists to increase women’s access to justice, uphold the rule of law in Afghanistan.
Humaira started her social justice journey at the age of 16 when she was an Afghan refugee in Pakistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. For 10 years, she led Medica Mondiale, a German-based NGO program in Afghanistan, an organization providing psychosocial counseling and legal support to survivors of violence against women across five provinces to serve, assist, and empower tens of thousands of women and girls affected by the war and crisis.
In 2018, Humaira Rasuli co-founded Woman for Justice Organization (WJO) to better safeguard women’s rights by strengthening the state’s institutional response and accountability to violence against women using legal strategies, pushing for law reform, training the emerging advocates and conducting peace advocacy. Humaira performed as a leading lawyer in investigating and trying some of the most high-profile sex-crime cases in Afghanistan involving warlords, politicians, drug lords and the criminal mafia. She has frequently travelled nationally to give trainings to women at grass-root level andinternationally. Humaira attended and contributed to workshops and conferences in regards to women’s rights agenda
Voices of Previous Research Fellows
Below are Farima Nawabi and Massoud Adrakhsh, previous research fellows at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.