Afghanistan's election commissions dissolved; Taliban says 'no need'
The Taliban has disbanded Afghanistan's two electoral commissions as well as the state departments of peace and parliamentarian affairs, an official said on Sunday. They are "unnecessary institutions for the current situation in Afghanistan," said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesperson for Afghanistan's Taliban-run government. If the commissions are needed in the future, the Taliban administration can resurrect them, he said.
Why does this story matter?
The hardline Islamist group is infamous for harsh sharia enforcement, bloodshed, torture, and public beheadings during its 1990s rule in Afghanistan. It was stamped out after America's two-decade-long 'War on Terror' in Afghanistan. However, as the US troops withdrew this year, the Taliban regained power and overthrew the Ashraf Ghani-led government in August. Rights groups fear the Taliban would bring back its brutal rule.
What is dismissed by the Taliban?
The Independent Election Commission and the Electoral Complaint Commission were both charged with overseeing and administering all forms of elections in the country, including presidential, parliamentary, and provincial council elections. Previously, the Taliban had closed down the former Ministry of Women's Affairs.
Taliban finds little support in global community
No country has extended formal recognition to the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan. The international community has refused aid as it remains concerned over the possibility of a draconian Taliban rule. Major international funders have continuously underlined women's rights and the possibility of misuse of funds. However, Qatar, China, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan have provided aid shipments to Afghanistan.
Atrocities against women under Taliban
On Sunday, Taliban leaders reminded women they should be supervised by a close male relative while traveling long distances. All car owners have been advised by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice to only provide transportation to women wearing Islamic hijabs. The government had previously urged TV networks to stop broadcasting dramas and soap operas with female actors.
Human rights violation in Afghanistan
Separately, the Taliban is responsible for torture and killings, especially in rural Afghanistan, according to an Amnesty International report. The Taliban is "steadily dismantling" progress in terms of human rights in Afghanistan, the report stated. It said that restrictions have been placed on people's freedom of expression. For instance, the Taliban has restricted people from listening to music in cars as it is "un-Islamic."