Amnesty Human Rights Controversy

 Amnesty Human Rights Controversy: BJP leaders as opposition got courage from Amnesty International, when it came to power

  • The central government says Amnesty International has violated the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act and the Foreign Exchange Act.
  • Amnesty International says: "We questioned the role of police in the Delhi riots and human rights violations in Kashmir, which offended the central government."

It is January 1977. Emergency was imposed in the country and all the major leaders of the opposition were imprisoned. LK Advani was one of them. He was meanwhile lodged in Bangalore Central Jail. Advani used to write diaries regularly during his visit to the jail. The diary was later published as his book, A Prisoners Scrap Book.

Referring to the incident of January 18, 1977 in this book, Advani writes that when I returned to my room at about half past five, I saw a pile of letters in the bed. It contained more than six lots. Almost all of these letters came from abroad and were sent by members and supporters of Amnesty International. Most of them wished a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. However, one or two lines were written in all of them which gave us all the courage and confidence to fight against atrocities.

At that time, LK Advani was the greatest leader of the Indian Jana Sangh. Going beyond the same Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the Bharatiya Janata Party was formed, which has a strong government in the country today. However, the same things that Amnesty International used to give courage and hope to the Jana Sangh leaders at that time are now troubling the BJP leaders.

Amnesty International, which has been working on human rights issues in the country for the past several years, recently announced the closure of its work here. The organization has alleged that the central government is constantly creating difficulties in its work by fabricating cases. On September 10, all Amnesty International bank accounts were frozen. The organization later announced the closure of its work.

The central government says Amnesty International has violated the rules by taking money from abroad. The government says the organization has violated the provisions of the Foreign Currency Management Act and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act. Following this, action has been taken against him.

Avinash Kumar, executive director of Amnesty International India, on the other hand, says banning the organization's accounts is not an accident. For the last two years, the central government has been harassing the organization through various means.

He believes Amnesty International has questioned the role of the police in the riots in Delhi. Apart from this, the organization has also made various statements on cases of human rights violations in Kashmir, which has caused the central government the most trouble.

This is not the first time that Amnesty International has been prosecuted. Even during the tenure of the UPA government, many questions have been raised about this organization and it has been accused of taking foreign money and working on a foreign agenda by violating the rules.

Amnesty International had to close its operations in the country in 2009 when its FCRA license was revoked. Then in 2012 Amnesty International resumed its work in India.

Mahtab Alam, a senior journalist who has worked with Amnesty International, says it is true that Amnesty International does not have an FCRA license. Any NGO has to get this license to take foreign money. However, Amnesty International has been running with Indian donors' money since 2012 and this fact is not hidden from anyone. The entire information on the organization's website is how many branches it is running and where its money comes from.

During the Emergency, Amnesty International campaigned for the release of all leaders like Jayaprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai and LK Advani. The campaign was not to the liking of the then Indira Gandhi government. However, Morarji Desai, who became the Prime Minister when the Bharatiya Janata Party formed the government, openly praised Amnesty International's efforts.

A similar campaign was now being run by Amnesty International for many social activists arrested in the Bhima-Koregaon case. This campaign seems appropriate to the opposition today. However, the ruling party and the central government feel that such a campaign is tantamount to interfering in the internal affairs of the country.

Despite all this, it is important to have an organization like Amnesty International. The reason is that the National Human Rights Commission has also taken note of the matter and sought a reply from the Home Secretary.

The commission said Amnesty International was a respected organization working on human rights issues around the world. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought clarification from the Union Home Ministry on the allegations leveled by the organization against the central government and asked it to file a reply within six weeks.

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