The complete freezing of Amnesty International India’s bank accounts by the Government of India has brought all its work to a grinding halt, the organisation said in a statement Tuesday
Amnesty International India has been in the dock over alleged irregularities in receiving foreign funds, charges which are currently being probed by investigative agencies.
Amnesty International on Tuesday said it has halted its India operations and let go of its staff members citing what it termed as the latest in the “incessant witch-hunt” of human rights organisations by the Government of India over “unfounded and motivated allegations”.
A statement put out by the organisation on Tuesday morning said that the complete freezing of Amnesty International India’s bank accounts by the Government of India has brought all its work to a grinding halt. Amnesty said it has been compelled to let go of staff in India and pause all its ongoing campaign and research work.
“The continuing crackdown on Amnesty International India over the last two years and the complete freezing of bank accounts is not accidental. The constant harassment by government agencies including the Enforcement Directorate is a result of our unequivocal calls for transparency in the government, more recently for accountability of the Delhi police and the Government of India regarding the grave human rights violations in Delhi riots and Jammu & Kashmir. For a movement that has done nothing but raise its voices against injustice, this latest attack is akin to freezing dissent,” Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, said in the statement.
Amnesty International India has been in the dock over alleged irregularities in receiving foreign funds, charges which are currently being probed by investigative agencies. The premises of the organisation were raided by the Enforcement Directorate in October 2018 and its accounts were frozen.
There are allegations that Amnesty India received donations through the FDI route, in violation of norms for non-profit organisations. It has also been denied permission by the Home ministry to receive funds from its UK arm since 2013.
On the contrary, Amnesty India claims that it has been subjected to harassment by government agencies for its reports on human rights violations in Delhi riots and Jammu and Kashmir.
Amnesty International India also rejected the charges of irregularities in funding and said it stands in full compliance with all applicable Indian and international laws. “The fact that the Government is now portraying this lawful fundraising model as money-laundering is evidence that the overbroad legal framework is maliciously activated when human rights activists and groups challenge the government’s grave inactions and excesses,” it said in the statement.