“We look forward to a response and a resolution to this situation,” a U.S. State Department official said.
The U.S. administration and U.S. Congress have been “very, very closely” following the closure of Amnesty International in India following the freezing of its bank accounts by the government. The issue has received attention at the “highest levels” of the U.S. government as per a senior U.S. State Department official.
“On the situation involving Amnesty International in India… we’ve been very, very closely following this issue, not just in the administration, but I know that our members of Congress have as well. It has received attention at the highest levels of our government,” the official said while briefing reporters on the India-U.S. relationship.
“The United States is committed to the health and vibrancy of civil society in all countries, but also especially India. We believe that the strength of civil society and the openness of society is a strength of India and it’s something that is part of what powers our cooperation, our bilateral cooperation,” the official said.
“And therefore we’re concerned about obstacles to the work of civil society, whether in India or anywhere else in the world. So we’re following it closely and we look forward to a response and a resolution to this situation that’s consistent with international principles and the rule of law.”
Days ago, Amnesty International India announced that it was halting its operations and had to let go of staff.“The constant harassment by government agencies including the Enforcement Directorate is a result of our unequivocal calls for transparency in the government, more recently for accountability of the Delhi police and the Government of India regarding the grave human rights violations in Delhi riots and Jammu & Kashmir,” Amnesty International India’s Executive Director Avinash Kumar had said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs said that Amnesty’s activities were in “clear contravention” of settled Indian law.