Indian police raid Amnesty International offices | News | DW | 15.11.2019
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Indian police raid Amnesty International offices

The country's federal investigative agency has accused the non-profit group of abusing foreign funding rules. However, Amnesty has called the move a response to the group's criticism of Narendra Modi's government.

India's federal investigative agency raided the offices of an international human rights group in a probe into alleged violations of foreign donation rules. 

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out searches on Friday at the offices of Amnesty International India Private Limited and Indians for Amnesty International Trust in the southern city of Bangalore, the rights group tweeted. 

The raids took place after the CBI registered a case against the human rights group based on a complaint from India's Home Ministry, according to news agency Reuters, citing a CBI statement.

"It was alleged that the provision of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 and Indian Penal Code were contravened," the CBI said in the statement.

The CBI alleged Amnesty's Indian branch received contributions from Amnesty International UK despite government restrictions.

The raids came after the UK-based nongovernmental organization made statements critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government.

"Over the past year, a pattern of harassment has emerged every time Amnesty International India stands up and speaks out against human rights violations in India," the rights group said in a statement.

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Modi increases monitoring of NGOs

Amnesty accused Modi's administration of human rights abuses in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir territory after India scrapped the region's special status in August and cracked down on any dissent

Amnesty also accused the government of "discrimination based on gender and ethnic or national origin" after the government's decision to revoke the overseas Indian citizenship of British writer Aatish Taseer. 

After Modi became prime minister in 2014, the country tightened surveillance of non-profits with thousands having their licenses to receive foreign funding canceled or suspended.

In 2018, Greenpeace India had its bank accounts frozen by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), India's financial crime agency. 

Amnesty also came under fire from the ED last year for alleged violations of foreign funding rules. 

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