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Amnesty International Shuts Indian Operations, Accuses Central Govt., ‘Witch-Hunt’

In a major development, the popular human rights organisation Amnesty International India on Tuesday (September 29) announced that due to the 'witch-hunt' and 'harassment' of the government, it is closing its operations in India. Amnesty International India noted that after it was "forced to let go of employees in India" and abandon all its study work, it decided to shut down its activities in India as the government froze all its bank accounts. The organisation called the government's decision on its bank accounts in a statement a witch-hunt "over false and motivated accusations."

"The complete freezing of the bank accounts of Amnesty International India by the Government of India, which it became aware of on 10 September, brings to a grinding halt all the work the organisation is doing. This is the latest in the Government of India's incessant witch-hunt of human rights organisations over baseless and motivated allegations," it said. It should be noted that a few weeks ago, Amnesty International India charged the Delhi police with involvement in the riots that erupted in February of this year in the national capital.

Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, said "not unintentional" was the government's "harassment" of the organisation in the last two years. The persistent harassment by government departments, including the Compliance Directorate, is the product of our unambiguous demands for government openness, more recently for accountability by the Delhi police and the Government of India for the serious abuses of human rights in the Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir riots. This new assault is analogous to freezing dissent for a movement that has done little but lift its voices against injustice,”he said.

In August, the organisation's investigation alleged that "victims were denied medical services, failure to rescue them, excessive and arbitrary use of force on protesters and differential treatment of assemblies, no response to multiple calls allowing survivors to defend themselves in Delhi over the six-day period of violence." According to the Union Home Ministry, via the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) road, Amnesty "gave money to India," which is not permitted in the case of non-profits.


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