The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday said that Amnesty International’s statement about an alleged witch-hunt was unfortunate, exaggerated and far from the truth. It also said that the ‘glossy’ statements were nothing but a “ploy to divert attention” from their activities, which were in clear contravention of laid down Indian laws.
Earlier today the organisation had said that it has been compelled to halt work as the central government had frozen its bank accounts. The organisation said that human rights defenders are facing an ‘incessant witch-hunt.’
Responding to the allegation raised by the organisation, the MHA said that in order to circumvent the FCRA regulations, Amnesty UK remitted large amounts of money to four entities registered in India by classifying it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“Amnesty is free to continue humanitarian work in India. However, India doesn’t allow interference in domestic political debates by entities funded by foreign donations. This law applies equally to all and it shall apply to Amnesty International as well,” it further said.
Meanwhile, the organisation alleged that its last two publications – on the first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 and the other on the complicity of Delhi Police in the February violence – provided “fresh impetus to the establishment to harass and intimidate” the organisation.
Amnesty had been vocal about major debates related to human rights in India including CAA-NRC, abrogation of Article 370, the arrest of activists related to the Bhima Koregaon protest, rights of political prisoners among others.