“Witch Hunt”: Amnesty International Shuts India Operation After Government Freezes Its Accounts

Amnesty International said that the organisation has been compelled to let go of staff in India and pause all its ongoing campaign and research work.


New Delhi| Human Rights organization Amnesty International on Tuesday said that it is halting its India operations and letting go of all the staff. The move, it says, comes after the freezing of its accounts by the government. The human rights organization called it an incessant “Witch Hunt”.

In a statement that was released on its website, Amnesty International said, “The complete freezing of Amnesty International India’s bank accounts by the Government of India which it came to know on 10 September 2020, brings all the work being done by the organization to a grinding halt. The organisation has been compelled to let go of staff in India and pause all its ongoing campaign and research work. This is latest in the incessant witch-hunt of human rights organizations by the Government of India over unfounded and motivated allegations, Amnesty International India said today.”

It further said that the crackdown on the Human Rights organization and freezing of its 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 raises its voices against injustice, this latest attack is akin to freezing dissent,” said Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India.

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The action against Amnesty International comes days after it accused Delhi Police of being complicit in the North-East Delhi Riots that broke out in February earlier this year.

The Enforcement Directorate is probing Amnesty international for alleged irregularities in foreign funding. In October 2019, The CBI had registered a case against the organisation and three of its associate organisations for alleged violation of laws pertaining to Rs 36 crore foreign fundings.


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