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Amnesty shuts India operations: UK, USCIRF raise issue with govt

While the British government, like the EU, raised the issue through diplomatic channels, the USCIRF —a consultative body to the US Congress — expressed concern at the reports.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | October 1, 2020 4:44:27 am
The USCIRF said it is “concerned by reports of the halting of operations of Amnesty India, particularly since it appears related to Amnesty's investigations into and reporting on religious freedom violations in India”. (File)

After the European Union, the UK and the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) raised the issue of Amnesty India’s operations being shut down with the Indian government.

While the British government, like the EU, raised the issue through diplomatic channels, the USCIRF —a consultative body to the US Congress — expressed concern at the reports.

When contacted, a British High Commission spokesperson said, “The UK’s Minister for South Asia and our Acting High Commiss-ioner in New Delhi met Indian government representatives after Amnesty International India’s accounts were frozen, to emphasise the importance of organisations like this being able to continue their work. The UK is seeking further information on recent decisions affecting Amnesty and believes the freedom of civil society organisations to operate underpins any functioning democracy.”

The USCIRF said it is “concerned by reports of the halting of operations of Amnesty India, particularly since it appears related to Amnesty’s investigations into and reporting on religious freedom violations in India”. Earlier, EU spokesperson Nabila Massrali had said, “Not prejudging the outcome of any investigation or judicial proceedings, the EU… hopes that the matter will be resolved allowing Amnesty to continue its activities in India without interruption.”

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