Taliban dissolve Afghanistan Human Rights Commission and other key bodies

Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have dissolved five key departments of the former US-backed government, including the country’s Human Rights Commission, deeming them unnecessary in the face of the financial crisis, an official said Monday.

Afghanistan faces a budget deficit of 44 billion Afghans ($501 million) this fiscal year, Taliban officials said on Saturday as they announced their first annual national budget since they took control of the war-torn country last August.

“Because these departments were not considered necessary and were not included in the budget, they were disbanded,” Innamullah Samangani, deputy Taliban government spokesman, told Reuters.

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The High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), the once-powerful National Security Council, and the commission to oversee the implementation of the Afghan constitution were also dissolved.

The HCNR was last led by former Afghan President Abdullah Abdullah, and was working to broker peace between the US-backed government of former President Ashraf Ghani and then-Taliban insurgents.

In August 2021, 20 years after invading Afghanistan, foreign forces withdrew from the country, leading to the collapse of the government and the Taliban’s seizure of power.

Samangani said the national budget was “based on objective facts” and earmarked only for departments that had been active and productive.

He added that the bodies could be reactivated in the future “if necessary.”

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 with an iron fist and implemented a harsh version of Islamic rule, which included barring women from education and work. After taking control last year, the Taliban assured the world that they would be more moderate.

However, they have not yet allowed older girls to return to education, and have also introduced rules requiring women and girls to wear headscarves and to be accompanied by male relatives in public places.

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