Legal News

Amnesty International to halt Operations in India

Amnesty International says it has been forced to halt its India operations due to “reprisals” from the government.

The watchdog also accused the government of pursuing a “witch-hunt” against human rights organisations.

Amnesty said its bank accounts had been frozen and it had been forced to lay off staff in the country and suspend all its campaign and research work.

India’s government said in a statement that the accusations were “unfortunate, exaggerated and far from the truth”.

Rajat Khosla, Amnesty’s senior director of research, advocacy and policy, told the BBC: “We are facing a rather unprecedented situation in India. Amnesty International India has been facing an onslaught of attacks, bullying and harassment by the government in a very systematic manner.

“This is all down to the human rights work that we were doing and the government not wanting to answer questions we raised, whether it’s in terms of our investigations into the Delhi riots, or the silencing of voices in Jammu and Kashmir.”

In a report released last month, the group said police in the Indian capital, Delhi, committed human rights violations during deadly religious riots between Hindus and Muslims in February.

Rebutting the claims, the Delhi police told The Hindu newspaper that Amnesty’s report was “lopsided, biased and malicious”.

Earlier in August, on the first anniversary of the revocation of Indian-administered Kashmir’s special status, Amnesty had called for the release of all detained political leaders, activists and journalists , and for the resumption of high-speed internet services in the region

Sources: The Hindu, BBC

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