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Amnesty asks Modi to ensure intimidation, harassment of rights organisations, activists are stopped

Amnesty asks Modi to ensure intimidation, harassment of rights organisations, activists are stopped

Our work is for the good of people, and with public support, we will not be silenced, Amnesty petition said

Amnesty India Petition

Mumbai: In a petition addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amnesty India has urged him to ensure that intimidation and harassment of organisations and individuals working on human rights and environmental issues are stopped immediately.

“Activists are being harassed, independent media houses have been raided, and organisations like Amnesty India and Greenpeace India are being targeted by Indian authorities for the work they are doing”, the petition said.

“Our work is for the good of people, and with public support, we will not be silenced”, the petition signed by Amnesty India CEO Aakar Patel said.

The Amnesty India petition comes after the Enforcement Directorate in India on October 25, 2018 raided Amnesty India’s office in Bengaluru. The authority later also froze their bank accounts, effectively stopping their vital human rights work. In early October, a similar raid against Greenpeace India ended with their accounts also being frozen. Earlier this year, between June and August 2018, ten eminent human rights activists were arrested under a draconian security law.

“Further, repressive foreign funding laws have been used by government authorities to obstruct the work of other key non-governmental organisations, including Lawyers Collective, People’s Watch, Sabrang Trust and Navsarjan Trust”, Amnesty India petition said.

“We believe these actions are politically motivated. Attacking respected activists and reputed organisations like Amnesty India and Greenpeace India is the sign of weak leadership and a government afraid of being exposed”, it said.

“India has just been elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council, mandated to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights”. Yet human rights work is actively being crushed in India”, it said.

Asking people to sign the online petition, Amnesty said, “Now more than ever, we need you to act. Let the Indian Prime Minister know that attacking activists and organisations like Amnesty India and Greenpeace India is not in the nation’s best interest.”

“A global power like India should welcome calls for accountability and justice”, the petition said.

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