Indian authorities raid Amnesty International office

Posted by News Express | 26 October 2018 | 1,352 times

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India's Enforcement Directorate (ED), a government agency that investigates financial crimes, has conducted raids at the regional office of Amnesty International in what activists claim are efforts to silence dissent.

Indian media reports said the raids at the premises of the rights watchdog in Bengaluru in southern Karnataka state began at 1:30pm (8:30 GMT) on Thursday afternoon and were ongoing.

A statement released by ED said its searches were conducted for alleged violation of foreign direct investment guidelines by Amnesty India. The agency accused the rights group of bypassing rules regarding foreign donations by "floating a commercial entity".

Amnesty India did not immediately respond to Al Jazeera's request for comment.

The action against Amnesty came within weeks of similar raids at the offices of Greenpeace India by the ED, which accused the charity of violating laws related to foreign funds.

On Wednesday, Amnesty urged the Indian government to initiate "effective, independent and impartial investigation" into the October 21 deaths of seven civilians in a blast in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Amnesty India has campaigned against arbitrary detention of human rights activists and leaders of marginalised groups including Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad in recent months.

Indian newspaper, The Hindu, in a report published in August, quoted federal officials saying they were probing whether some entities based in the UK infused funds into Amnesty's India unit allegedly through commercial channels in violation of Indian laws. (Aljazeera)

Source: News Express

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