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‘The law applies equally to all and it shall apply to Amnesty International as well,’ MHA gives the dubious NGO a royal dressing down. Read details

The MHA said that "Human Rights cannot be an excuse for defying the law of the land."

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a statement calling out the false allegations made by the dubious NGO Amnesty International India ever since it announced to halt its operations in India on 29th September 2020. Stating evidence and arguments, the Government of India said that the statements made by Amnesty International are unfortunate, exaggerated and far from the truth. It declared, “Human Rights cannot be an excuse for defying the law of the land.”

The statement released by MHA on Amnesty International

The statement revealed that the NGO had received permission under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) only once and that too twenty years ago on 19th December 2000. “Since then Amnesty International, despite its repeated applications, has been denied FCRA approval by successive governments since as per law it is not eligible,” read the statement.

It is pertinent to note here that in 2009, Amnesty International was forced to halt its operations after the UPA government had refused to grant it permission to access funds from its London headquarters. The Home Ministry had rejected its application to seek overseas funds twice since 2006. 

The MHA furthered that to circumvent the FCRA regulations, its UK branch remitted large amounts of money to four entities registered in India, by classifying it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Stating that a significant amount of foreign money was also remitted to Amnesty (India) without MHA’s approval under FCRA, the ministry said that this dubious way to reroute money was a mala fide contravention of extant legal provisions.

It said that due to these illegal practises the NGO’s applications were rejected repeatedly by previous governments also. The MHA said, “All glossy statements about humanitarian work and speaking truth to power are nothing but a ploy to divert attention from their activities which were in contravention of laid down Indian laws. Such statements are also an attempt to extraneously influence the course of investigations by multiple agencies into the irregularities and illegalities carried out over the last few years.”

It was a royal dressing down that Amnesty International received and quite clearly, the government was not in the mood to play defensive. It stated further, “Amnesty is free to continue humanitarian work in India, as is being done by many other organizations. However, India, by settled law, does not allow interference in domestic political debates by entities funded by foreign donations. This law applies equally to all and it shall apply to Amnesty International as well.”

“Amnesty’s failure to comply with local regulations does not entitle them to make comments on the democratic and plural character of India,” it added.

Amnesty International shuts shop in India 

Notably, the dubious NGO, which is known to have links to British govt and Islamist orgs, had accused the central government of a witch-hunt against ‘human rights organisations’ and blamed them for its decision to wrap up.

Recently, the Enforcement Directorate had frozen all bank accounts of the organisation. Amnesty has stated that it has now let all its staff members go, 150 of them. A statement by Amnesty has stated that they came to know of the freezing the bank accounts on September 10.

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