India’s witch-hunt campaign forces Amnesty to leave

By Staff Reporter
Wednesday – September 30, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The parliamentary committee on Kashmir (PCoK) chairman Shehryar Khan Afridi expressed grave concern, Tuesday, over reports of continuing crackdown and harassment by Indian government of the Amnesty International (AI) officials leading to halting of its operations just because the AI had largely covered India’s systematic genocide of Dalits, Christians, Muslims and Kashmiris.

According to an official statement, AI and other human rights’ watchdogs have accused the Indian police of complicity in the riots in Delhi, in which at least 50 people were killed, most of them Muslims, and also its reports have uncovered Indian forces’ atrocities in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

PCoK chairman Afridi, while talking to journalists, said that the human rights’ watchdog, the AI, has blamed the right-wing government of India (GoI) for freezing the bank account of its India’s branch, forcing it to lay off staff and stop campaign and research work.

He said that it was an alarming sign that Indian government was running an incessant witch-hunt campaign against the human rights organisations over unfounded and motivated allegations.

PCoK chairman Afridi said that the AI officials claim that they have been facing a crackdown for over the past two years on baseless allegations of financial wrongdoing.

He said that he was shocked to learn from AI India officials that the constant harassment by Indian government agencies including the enforcement directorate is a result of its unequivocal calls for transparency in the government, more recently for accountability of the Delhi police and the GoI regarding the grave human rights’ violations in Delhi riots and Jammu and Kashmir.

PCoK chairman Afridi urged the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council and other international human rights’ groups to raise their voices over the ongoing witch-hunt of AI and other human rights’ watchdogs working in India and asked them to take immediate measures to provide adequate and urgent security to the officials of the rights’ bodies and groups working in India.

“I fear that the officials of the AI and other human rights’ groups may be targeted by Hindutva gangsters” adding “The world needs to immediately provide them with security,” he concluded.