Bengaluru: CBI searches Amnesty office over alleged FCRA violations
In a statement, Amnesty India said that in the past year, a ‘pattern of harassment’ had emerged every time the organisation flagged human rights violations.
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday raided the office of human rights organisation Amnesty International India in Bengaluru over alleged irregularities associated with the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, NDTV reported.
The act was formulated in 2010 to ensure transparency in the acceptance and use of foreign contribution by certain individuals or associations or companies. It prohibits the acceptance and use of foreign donations for any activities that may be detrimental to the national interest.
In a statement following reports of the raid, the organisation confirmed that the CBI had conducted the raid at its office in Bengaluru. “Over the past year, a pattern of harassment has emerged every time Amnesty International India stands up and speaks out against human rights violations in India,” it read.
The organisation said that it was in complete compliance with local and international laws. “Our work in India, as elsewhere, is to uphold and fight for universal human rights,” the statement said. “These are the same values that are enshrined in the Indian Constitution and flow from a long and rich Indian tradition of pluralism, tolerance, and dissent.”
It added that more than four million Indians supported the organisation’s work in the last six years and about 100,000 Indians made financial contributions to it.
Last year, the Enforcement Directorate had raided the human rights organisation’s office in Bengaluru. The searches were conducted under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, and the agency was looking at a possible and alleged violation of the law linked to an earlier investigation into the organisation’s foreign funding.
In June, Amnesty International India was denied permission to hold a press conference in Srinagar to release a report on the controversial Public Safety Act in Jammu and Kashmir. The report, titled “Tyranny of a Lawless Law: Detention without charge or trial under the J & K Public Safety Act”, was later released online globally.
India rescinded the erstwhile state’s constitutional special status on August 5, and had imposed a communication and security lockdown in the state. The prohibitory restrictions have been eased out gradually, however internet services remain suspended in many areas of the region.
In August, the organisation had cautioned the Centre against human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. It had also criticised the Supreme Court for refusing to pass orders to lift the restrictions imposed.
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