Bengaluru: Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping our work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.
“Government authorities are increasingly treating human rights organisations like criminal enterprises”, said Aakar Patel. “As an organisation committed to the rule of law, our operations in India have always conformed with our national regulations. The principles of transparency and accountability are at the heart of our work.”
Around 1:30 pm on 25 October, a group of officers from the Enforcement Directorate entered our premises and locked the gates behind them. They ordered the Amnesty India staff to remain in office, shut their laptops, and not use their mobile phones.
Most of the documents asked for during the search were available in the public domain or were already filed with the relevant authorities. Details of our current structure, which was the focus of much of the questioning, have been available on our website since 2014.