‘Pattern of harassment’, says Amnesty International after CBI raids its Bengaluru, Delhi offices

Darshan Devaiah BP
Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday raided the headquarters of Amnesty International India in Bengaluru.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Friday raided the offices of Amnesty International India in Bengaluru and New Delhi. The investigative agency has alleged that the Human rights group violated the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) norms.

"The CBI raided our office till 5 pm and we cooperated with the officials," Amnesty International India spokesperson told indianepxress.com

In a statement, the human rights group said, "The Central Bureau of Investigation today conducted searches at the offices of Amnesty International India Private Limited and Indians for Amnesty International Trust (hereinafter referred to as ‘Amnesty India’) in Bengaluru and New Delhi."

"Over the past year, a pattern of harassment has emerged every time Amnesty India stands up and speaks out against human rights violations in India. Amnesty India stands in full compliance with Indian and international law. Our work in India, as elsewhere, is to uphold and fight for universal human rights. These are the same values that are enshrined in the Indian Constitution and flow from a long and rich Indian tradition of pluralism, tolerance, and dissent," it added.

A statement by CBI said that it had registered a case on November 5 based on a complaint received from the Ministry of Home Affairs against M/s Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL), M/s Indians For Amnesty International Trust (IAIT), M/s Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT), M/s Amnesty International South Asia Foundation (AISAF) and unknown others.

“It was alleged that the provision of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 and Indian Penal Code were contravened by the aforesaid entities by receiving foreign contributions from M/s Amnesty International U.K through AIIPL even though prior registration or permissions were denied to M/s Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) and other Trusts under FCRA,” the statement added.

The investigative agency has searched three places in Bangalore and one in Delhi, and is continuing with its investigation, the CBI said.

In October 2018, the offices of Amnesty International in Bengaluru were raided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

According to its website, Amnesty International is a London-based NGO that was founded in 1961 and currently has a presence in over 150 countries with 7 million members.