Research Fellows

To support maintained and/or enhanced capacities of Afghan researchers to produce high quality research that contribute to monitoring, promoting and protecting human rights in Afghanistan, each year eight to twelve Afghan scholars will be selected in a highly competitive process to become RWI Research Fellows connected to the programme. Fellows receive monthly stipends, mentorship, access to the RWI library, and other forms of support to conduct research on high priority human rights issues in Afghanistan, which in turn is aimed to contribute to the UNSR mandate.

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.

Read more about our previous research fellows here:

Previous Fellows

Research Fellows 2024


Maliha Shirzay

Maliha Shirzay

Research Fellow, RWI Afghanistan Programme

E-mail: malia.shir_mohammad@rwi.lu.se

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.

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Latifa Jafari Alavi

Latifa Jafari Alavi

Research Fellow, RWI Afghanistan Programme

E-mail: Latifa.Jafari_Alavi@rwi.lu.se

Latifa Jafari Alavi is a research fellow at Raoul Wallenberg Institute. Her research interests include accountability for international crimes, international humanitarian law, environment law and minorities women rights.

Alavi holds an LLM in European Private International Law from Dundee University and a master’s degree in International and European Law from Toulouse 1 University Capitole. She 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.” Her post-doctoral research focused on human rights and environmental justice at SAGE in the university of Strasbourg.

Currently as a research fellow in RWI, she is conducting research on intersectionality and access to human rights for minorities women in Afghanistan. Latifa has previously worked for various international legal organizations including the ICC and IDLO. In addition, she has collaborated with several local and international NGOs in Afghanistan, Iran, and France.

 

Hamid A. Formuli

Hamid A. Formuli

Research Fellow, RWI Afghanistan Programme

E-mail: Hamid.Formuli@rwi.lu.se

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

Kobra Moradi

Research Fellow, RWI Afghanistan Programme

E-mail: Kobra.Moradi@rwi.lu.se

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

Haroun Rahimi

Research Fellow, RWI Afghanistan Programme

E-mail: Haroun.Rahimi@rwi.lu.se

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

Humaira Rasuli

Research Fellow, RWI Afghanistan Programme

E-mail: Humaira.Rasuli@rwi.lu.se

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

Mitra Tanomand

Mitra Tanomand

Research Fellow, RWI Afghanistan Programme

E-mail: Mitra.Tanomand@rwi.lu.se

Mitra Tanomand, a dedicated human rights advocate from Afghanistan, holds a Master of Arts & Humanities specializing in Gender Studies from the University of East Anglia, attained through the Chevening Scholarship. Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Global Development with a focus on Education in the UK, Mitra is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)®.

With a background spanning over a decade in the human rights field, Mitra’s expertise encompasses gender and children affairs, human rights activities, research, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), as well as project development and management. Her research focuses on the critical issue of Gender-Based Violence in Afghanistan, utilizing a comprehensive critical discourse analysis approach. Proficient in feminist research methods, gender dynamics, social development, globalization, and business and development, Mitra brings a multifaceted skill set to her work.

Currently, Mitra is researching human rights issues in Afghanistan, focusing on girls’ education and “Unveiling the post-2021 Realities within Women’s Protection Shelters in Afghanistan: Navigating Challenges Amidst Socio-Political Shifts”.

Having worked primarily in national and international organizations, Mitra served as a Gender Consultant at Colombo Plan, making significant contributions to Women’s Shelters and Children Shelters projects in Afghanistan. Progressing in her career, she assumed the role of Chief Program Officer at The Colombo Plan, where she oversaw the Gender Affairs Program across Afghanistan. Her primary focus was advocating for women’s rights and combating gender-based violence.

As the founder and CEO of the Afghan Businesswomen Organization, a non-profit dedicated to women’s economic empowerment in Afghanistan, Mitra developed strategic business plans and managed projects aimed at empowering vulnerable women through income generation. Under her guidance, small to medium-sized home-based businesses were established in remote areas of Afghanistan. Mitra excelled in handling comprehensive research reports for fundraising and donor engagement.

With an unwavering commitment to human rights, gender studies, and community development, Mitra Tanomand stands as a beacon of change, contributing positively to critical issues in Afghanistan and beyond.

Palwasha Mirbacha

Palwasha Mirbacha

Research Fellow, RWI Afghanistan Programme

E-mail: Palwasha.Mirbacha@rwi.lu.se

With over a decade of extensive experience, Palwasha Mirbacha has played a pivotal role in planning, designing, implementing, and monitoring education projects, collaborating with renowned international education institutions. As an expert in the field of education, she has successfully managed the execution of multi-sectoral, multi-million, and generational projects. Palwasha’s background encompasses the management of both developmental and humanitarian education programs, with a profound understanding of the economics of education facilitated by education background coupled with her intensive engagement in robust research, writing, and analysis of the sector. She employs both qualitative and quantitative methods, underscored by the publication of multiple analytical works in the field. Furthermore, Palwasha’s professional journey reflects a commitment to social entrepreneurship and community work in Afghanistan, evident in her instrumental role in establishing and sustaining a grassroots education initiative, the Boume Dana Foundation, focused on the publication and dissemination of indigenous and contextually relevant children’s literature for Afghan children.

The programme is financially supported by:

     

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