UK: Protest outside Indian High Commission after crackdown on Amnesty India
Amnesty International activists will protest at the Indian High Commission tomorrow (Friday 30 November) to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop trying to crush human rights organisations in India.
Last month, India’s Enforcement Directorate, a government agency that investigates financial crimes, raided Amnesty India’s office in Bengaluru, freezing its bank accounts, effectively stopping its human rights work.
The raid followed a similar attempt to intimidate Greenpeace India, with the environmental group’s bank accounts also frozen, as the Indian government claimed violations of foreign funding regulations to shut down another prominent non-governmental organisation.
Soon after the raid on Amnesty, a smear campaign was launched on social media and among pro-government sections of the media that have long opposed Amnesty India’s human rights work.
Tomorrow, protesters will carry banners that read:
- “Indian Embassy ahead: No human rights work allowed. Activists will be prosecuted”
- “Warning: All human rights work will be reported to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Proceed at your own risk”, and
- “You are approaching the Indian Embassy. Danger ahead for human rights workers”.
Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s Director, said:
“As more people in India call for equality, accountability and justice, Prime Minister Modi’s government is trying to silence human rights defenders and organisations.
“Amnesty India speaks out for women’s rights, has exposed the use of excessive force against defenceless people, and stood up for indigenous communities whose rights are being violated by large corporations.
“We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in India and are calling on Prime Minister Modi to immediately stop these attempts to punish them for their brave work.”
This weekend, Prime Minister Modi will attend the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.