UPDATE: Amnesty International closes office in India

Earlier today Amnesty International announced it will halt all operations in India after its accounts were frozen.

The “reprisals” are a clear violation of the right to freedom of expression and a further attempt from India’s government to intimidate human rights defenders. Amnesty believes the latest moves come as a result of recent publications exposing human rights abuses in Kashmir, but fit a longer pattern of harassment.

In 2018 and again in 2019, the group’s offices were raided and the organisation has been accused of violating the anti-foreign financing law, a charge Amnesty vigorously disputes.

These attacks form part of a wider onslaught against human rights organisations in India, where the government systematically bullies and harrasses NGOs and refuses to answer any questions. The Indian authorities continue to silence voices in disputed territories like Jammu and Kashmir and prohibit investigations in these and other areas.

Quinn McKew, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19 said:

“True democracies tolerate and even encourage dissent.  This is yet another sign that India continues to erode the fundamental rights of freedom of expression, association and assembly.  Actions like these are why India is in the bottom-half of our Global Expression ranking.

“We stand in solidarity with Amnesty International’s staff.”