Amnesty International (AI) India has decided to shut its campaign and research work in the country. The decision, which will see close to 150 employees lose their jobs, came after the recent move by the Enforcement Directorate to freeze the organization’s accounts.
In a press statement, AI’s India office has said, “On 10 September 2020, Amnesty International India came to know about the freezing of the accounts. The organization has been compelled to let go of its staff in India and pause all its ongoing campaign and research work. all its bank accounts were completely frozen by the Enforcement Directorate bringing most of the work of the human rights organization to a grinding halt.”
Executive Director of Amnesty International India, Avinash Kumar said, Amnesty linked all government action to its reports critical of the government, the questions were raised in the recent reports on alleged rights violations during the February Delhi riots and in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.
The continual 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 the Delhi riots and Jammu and Kashmir. For a movement that has done nothing but raises its voices against injustice, this latest attack is akin to freezing dissent”.
The home ministry, says the organization “got money into India through the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) route,” which is not allowed in the case of non-profits.
The government’s permission was given to Amnesty India to receive around Rs 1.69 crore from Amnesty UK in 2011-12. But sources said that permission has been denied since 2013.