India freezes Amnesty International bank accounts after reports critical of government

New Delhi — Global human rights organization Amnesty International has halted operations in India, accusing the government of an “incessant witch-hunt” and “constant harassment” over its reports criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. 

Indian authorities froze Amnesty’s bank accounts earlier this month for allegedly receiving foreign funds illegally, a charge the rights group denies. The organization said it had been forced to lay staff members off and pause its work in India because it could not access its funds. 

India Amnesty International
Amnesty International India employees work at their headquarters in Bangalore, India, in a February 5, 2019, file photo.  

Aijaz Rahi/AP


“India’s stature as a liberal democracy with free institutions, including media & civil society organizations, accounted for much of its soft power in the world. Actions like this both undermine our reputation as a democracy & vitiate our soft power,” Shashi Thraoor, a member of the opposition Indian National Congress party,

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