Amnesty to halt work in India after its ‘account frozen’

Amnesty International says it is halting work in India due to “continuing crackdown” and “harassment” by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The rights group said the bank account of its India office has been frozen by the right-wing government, forcing it to lay off staff and stop campaign and research work in the South Asian nation.

It also accused the government of running an “incessant witch hunt” campaign against human rights organisations over “unfounded and motivated” allegations.

“The continuing crackdown on Amnesty International India over the last two years and the complete freezing of bank accounts is not accidental,” said Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, in a statement on Tuesday.

“The constant harassment by government agencies including the Enforcement Directorate is a result of our unequivocal calls for transparency in the government, more recently for accountability of the Delhi police and the Government of India regarding the grave human rights violations in Delhi riots and Jammu & Kashmir.

“For a movement that has done nothing but raise its voices against injustice, this latest attack is akin to freezing dissent.”

The Indian government has not commented on the Amnesty allegations.

Al Jazeera tried to contact several spokespersons from the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but did not receive response by the time of the publication.

More soon.

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