Taliban shut down Afghan human rights body – Manila Bulletin

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban authorities said on Tuesday they had dissolved Afghanistan’s independent human rights commission because it was “not deemed necessary”.

Since hardline Islamists took power last August, they have shut down several bodies that protected Afghans’ freedoms, including the electoral commission and the women’s affairs ministry.

“We have other organizations to carry out activities related to human rights, organizations that are linked to the justice system,” deputy government spokesman Inamullah Samangani told AFP, without further details. .

The rights commission’s work, which included documenting civilian victims of the two-decade war in Afghanistan, was halted when the Taliban overthrew a US-backed government last year and senior the organization fled the country.

The National Security Council and a reconciliation council that promoted peace were also shut down over the weekend as the government announced its first annual budget.

“These departments are not considered necessary, so they have been dissolved. But in the future, if they are needed, they can resume their operations,” Samangani said.

The Taliban face a financial shortfall of around 44 billion Afghans (around $500 million) in a country almost entirely dependent on foreign aid.

Heather Barr, associate director of women’s rights at Human Rights Watch, said it was shocking to see Afghanistan roll back with the closures.

“It was so important to have a place to go, to ask for help and to demand justice,” she tweeted.

The Taliban had previously promised looser rule than their first regime from 1996 to 2001, but have steadily eroded the freedoms of many Afghans, especially women, who face restrictions on education, work and employment. clothing.

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