NHRC notice to Union Home Secy over Amnesty closing operations alleging 'witch-hunt'

NHRC notice to Union Home Secy over Amnesty closing operations alleging 'witch-hunt'

New Delhi: The NHRC has issued a notice to the Union Home Secretary over Amnesty International winding up its operations in the country because of alleged witch-hunt by the government, officials said on Wednesday.

According to media reports, after the complete freezing of its India bank accounts, the Amnesty International Organization in India has reportedly halted all the work in which it has been engaged in the country, the NHRC said in a statement.

"The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of the matter and directs issuance of the notice to the Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India, calling for their comments on the allegations levelled by the Amnesty International as mentioned in the news report," it said.

In a statement earlier, the NGO had stated that "it has been compelled to let go of staff in India and pause all its ongoing campaign and research work," the rights panel said.

"It is alleged that this is the latest in the incessant witch-hunt of human rights organisations by the government of India over unfounded and motivated allegations," the NHRC said.

Amnesty International on Tuesday claimed that it was being subjected to an 'incessant witch-hunt' over unfounded and motivated allegations.

The Home Ministry said that Amnesty International's statement was unfortunate, exaggerated and far from the truth. It said all the "glossy statements" about humanitarian work and speaking truth to power are nothing but a "ploy to divert attention" from their activities which are in clear contravention of laid down Indian laws.

The government has said that Amnesty has been receiving foreign funds illegally.

The Commission on Wednesday observed that it has "carefully examined" the contents of the news report. The Amnesty International is a reputed non-governmental organisation raising its voice globally whenever there is an incident of violation of human rights of the people, it said.

"The allegations levelled by the organisation are serious in nature and have been strongly answered by the government agency. Any kind of difference of opinion may be a subject of investigation and decision by the competent court," it said.

The Commission finds it necessary to go through the matter, analyse the facts and reach a conclusion in the interest of human rights-friendly environment in the country, it said, adding, the response is expected within six weeks.

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