Kabul [Afghanistan], May 20 (ANI): UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned Taliban's decision to dissolve the Human Rights Commission and expressed concerns over the grave human rights situation in Afghanistan.
"I am dismayed at the reported decision of the Taliban to dissolve the country's Independent Human Rights Commission. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) performed extraordinary work in extremely difficult conditions over many years, shining a spotlight on the human rights of all Afghans, including victims on all sides of the conflict," Bachelet said in a statement on Thursday.
The AIHRC has been a powerful voice for human rights and a trusted partner of UN Human Rights, and its loss will be a deeply retrograde step for all Afghans and Afghan civil society, she said.
"During my visit to Kabul in March this year, I discussed with the de facto authorities the importance of re-establishing an independent human rights mechanism that can receive complaints from the public and bring concerns to the attention of the de facto authorities," UN rights chief contijued.
Rights activists said the AIHRC that was abolished by the Taliban was not perfect but it mattered enormously to have a place to demand justice.
"Let's take a moment to remember an Afghanistan which had a human rights commission. It was not perfect--these institutions never are--but it mattered enormously to have somewhere to go, to ask for help and to demand justice. Shocking to see a country go backwards in this way," said Heather Barr, Associate women's rights director and former senior Afghanistan researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW).
"The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions had 120 member countries in April, but they will need to remove Afghanistan now," she added.
This meeting comes against the backdrop of a range of issues affecting Afghanistan. In the past few weeks, dozens of countries have expressed deep disappointment about escalating restrictions on the human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.
Last week, the G7 Foreign Ministers had deplored the Taliban's recent decree enforcing hijab on Afghan women and new punishments for family members to enforce compliance with these restrictions.
They had condemned the imposition of increasingly restrictive measures that severely limit half the population's ability to fully, equally, and meaningfully participate in society. (ANI)