Human rights group Amnesty stops India operations, alleges ‘witch-hunt’ by government

Human rights group Amnesty International stopped its work in India on Tuesday saying the government had frozen its financial institution accounts within the latest motion in opposition to it for talking out about rights violations.

The group stated it had laid off workers after going through a crackdown over the previous two years over allegations of economic wrongdoing that it stated had been baseless.

“This is latest in the incessant witch-hunt of human rights organizations by the government of India over unfounded and motivated allegations,” Amnesty stated in a press release.

Its financial institution accounts had been frozen on Sept. 10, it stated.

Amnesty had highlighted rights violations in current months within the disputed Jammu and Kashmir area in addition to what it stated was a scarcity of police accountability throughout riots in Delhi in February, and the government had sought to punish it, it stated.

There was no quick response from government spokesmen to requests for remark.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s government has confronted accusations that it’s clamping down on dissent, together with in Muslim-majority Kashmir, where insurgents have battled government forces for greater than 30 years.

Critics additionally say the government is pushing a Hindu-first agenda, undermining the secular foundations of India`s democracy and elevating fears amongst its 170 million Muslim minority.

The government denies any bias in opposition to any group.

Opposition politician Shashi Tharoor stated Amnesty`s exit was a blow.

“India`s stature as a liberal democracy with free institutions, including media & civil society organisations, accounted for much of its soft power in the world. Actions like this both undermine our reputation as a democracy & vitiate our soft power,” he stated on Twitter.

`FREEZING DISSENT`

Amnesty stated the federal monetary crimes investigation company, the Enforcement Directorate, had focused it.

“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,” stated Avinash Kumar, govt director of Amnesty International India.

“For a movement that has done nothing but raises its voices against injustice, this latest attack is akin to freezing dissent,” he stated.

Amnesty and other teams have accused police of complicity within the riots in Delhi in which at the very least 50 people had been killed, most of them Muslims.

Police denied the allegation.

The government has been tightening oversight of international non-governmental teams (NGOs), they are saying.

Last week, the government enacted modifications within the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill setting new circumstances for organisations.

Some NGOs stated the measures searching for tighter management of funds had been geared toward creating an air of mistrust.

Kumar stated greater than 4 million Indians have supported Amnesty`s work within the final eight years and about 100,000 Indians had donated cash.

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