India: “NGOs treated as criminal gangs,” blocks bank accounts of AI

In India the bank accounts of Amnesty International have been frozen, after a raid by the police in the Indian headquarters of the human rights organization. Reportedly, the organization would have broken the regulations on accepting foreign donations, according to a Home Affairs spokesperson in New Delhi. Amnesty itself speaks of a conscious repression of human rights organizations.

According to Amnesty, an agency of the Ministry of Finance visited the office of the organization in the southern Indian capital city of Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) for ten hours yesterday. The officials requested documents that were already available from the competent authorities and partly publicly accessible. In his own words, Amnesty has always adhered to all laws and conditions.

Only a few weeks ago the accounts of the environmental protection organization Greenpeace India were repeatedly checked and blocked for the same reason. “The authorities increasingly treat human rights organizations as criminal gangs,” said Aakar Patel, director of AI India.

Since the inauguration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, his Hindu nationalist government has taken out a lot of non-governmental organizations to accept donations from abroad. Affected organizations such as Amnesty and Greenpeace accuse the government of wanting to suppress the critical voice. “It is clear that the government wants to instill fear among civil society organizations”, it sounds in a tweet.

©AP-Man closes the fences of Amnesty International’s office in Bengaluru, India.

Source: BGA

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