NGOs anticipated to stick to legal guidelines: MEA on Amnesty

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 1

The External Affairs Ministry (MEA) today took on the UK High Commission and the European Union for raising the issue of banning operations of Amnesty in India.

‘Follow the law’

All are expected to adhere to the laws, including for foreign funding. – Anurag Srivastava, MEA spokesperson

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has also questioned the decision to shut down its operations.

“All such organisations are expected to adhere to all laws, including for foreign funding, as they would do in the US, the UK and the EU,” observed MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava at the weekly media briefing on Thursday.

“We expect other governments won’t condone the contravention of Indian laws by any entity,” he added, while referencing the Union Home Ministry’s stand that Amnesty UK circumvented FCRA regulations by transmitting large amounts to four entities registered in India by classifying it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Amnesty and Greenpeace have been locked in a confrontation with the Central government since late 2018 when the Enforcement Directorate froze their bank accounts.

The MHA said a significant amount was also remitted to Amnesty (India) without MHA’s approval under FCRA.

Amnesty International had called the freezing of its Indian outfit’s account as a “witch-hunt”, but the government has said laws don’t permit interference in domestic political debates by entities funded by foreign donations.

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