A federal judge Thursday determined that a law enforcement commission ordered by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus MORE violated federal rules on open meetings and that the panel must stop all work until it complies with the law.
U.S. District Judge John Bates said in the ruling that the 18-member Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice held private meetings without advanced notice to the public.
The judge noted that this violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which mandates that meetings of federal “advisory committees” “must be open to the public,” “must make its records and drafts publicly available” and “must give notice of any meetings in the Federal Register at least fifteen days before the
Amnesty International has been forced to shut down operations in India and lay off all staff there after the Indian government froze its bank accounts.
The Indian enforcement directorate, an agency that investigates economic crimes, froze the accounts of Amnesty’s Indian arm this month after the group published two reports highly critical of the government’s human rights record.
Amnesty said the move was the culmination of a two-year campaign of harassment by the home affairs ministry, and more broadly part of an “incessant witch-hunt” of human rights groups by the Hindu nationalist government of the prime minister, Narendra Modi.
Amnesty’s departure starkly illustrates the shrinking space for dissent in India, where critics of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party face investigation and detention, often under draconian terrorism laws. It also comes at a time when human rights violations, particularly against India’s 200 million Muslims,