The Taliban government disbanded Afghanistan's independent human rights commission, deeming it was "not considered necessary" despite the regime's record of abuses.
The human rights commission, established under the prior U.S.-backed government, was axed along with four other departments as Kabul grapples with a staggering $500 million deficit, the Taliban said on Tuesday.
"We have some other organizations to carry out activities related to human rights, organizations that are linked to the judiciary," deputy government spokesman Inamullah Samangani told AFP. "These departments are not considered necessary, so they have been dissolved. But in the future, if they are needed, then they can resume their operations."
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Most of the commission's work was stymied after the Taliban seized power last year after U.S. forces withdrew. The commission was tasked with counting civilian casualties in Afghanistan and investigating human rights abuses in the country.
Other departments that were dissolved when the Taliban unveiled its annual budget include the High Council for National Reconciliation, the National Security Council, and a commission overseeing the enactment of the country's constitution, per Reuters.
Afghanistan was heavily reliant on foreign aid to manage its finances for over two decades, but that aid quickly evaporated when the Taliban regained power. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed an executive order moving about half of the $7 billion in funding for Afghanistan to the families of the fallen in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Without international support, the country is facing a significant $500 million deficit.
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The Islamist government has faced a bevy of criticisms from abroad for its handling of human rights within Afghanistan. Earlier this month, the Taliban ordered women to be covered head to toe in public. Additionally, the Taliban have not reopened schools to girls above grade six in a break from their prior commitment.
Most of the world does not recognize the Taliban government, and the country is ensnared in an economic meltdown. There are also reports of rampant food insecurity under Taliban rule. An estimated 60% of Afghanistan's population, or 24 million people, is in dire need of humanitarian assistance, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.