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EU raises concerns over Amnesty International issue while India defends its action

NEW DELHI, 30 September 2020, (TON):  Indian government defended its actions and said “Amnesty International is working in clear contravention of Indian law.” The European Union (EU) expressed its concern about the Indian government’s investigation into Amnesty International affairs and said, “European Union hopes the global human rights agency can continue its work in India”.  

EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security policy said, “We have already raised the issue with our Indian with New Delhi and Brussels, expressing our concerns. We hope that the matter will be resolved, allowing Amnesty to continue its activities in India without interruption.”  

Since Amnesty International Foundation and its three subsidiaries — Amnesty India Private Limited, Indians for Amnesty International Trust and Amnesty International South Asia Foundation — are not registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA), a pre-requisite for civil society groups, associations and NGOs to receive foreign donations, it used the “prior permission” route, which meant applying to the government each time it wanted to accept a foreign donation.

The Government of India carried out scrutiny of more than 20 international NGOs including Amnesty International (AI), Greenpeace, Compassion International, and Ford Foundation, over the past few years. In the past five years, Indian government took action against several foreign donors including US-based Compassion International, Ford Foundation, World Movement for Democracy (WMD), Open Society Foundations (OSF) and National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Ford Foundation was later taken off its watch list after protests from several US Congressmen.

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