Joint Press Statement

Joint Statement

Kathmandu, October 2, 2020

Forced closure of Amnesty India indicates deterioration of civic space in India

The shocking recent news of the closure of the Amnesty International India (Amnesty India) due to the Indian government’s sudden freezing of the organization’s all bank accounts is a cause of grave concern to those of us working for human rights, justice and rule of law in the region.

This is a blatant attack on an organization that has played a vital role in protecting human rights in the country by documenting the cases of human rights violations and exposing the state’s failure. This has included, in some cases, the very involvement of state agencies in committing atrocities against individuals, particularly those belonging to minority communities throughout India.

For the past two years, Amnesty International India has been constantly targeted by Indian authorities and accused of ‘wrongdoings’ without any credible evidence. At the time of writing, no formal charges have been filed against the organization.

It’s clear that the latest attack on Amnesty is a direct result of its human rights work in India, where it has regularly raised alarms about the state’s failure to hold authorities accountable for their actions. Most recently, Amnesty India released two important reports: an update on the situation of human rights in Jammu & Kashmir following a year since the suspension of Article 370 of the Constitution of India, and an investigative brief exposing the complicity of Delhi police in the February riots in the capital which claimed the lives of at least 53 people, mostly from the Muslim-minority community.

We stand with the staff and members of Amnesty India and all other human rights defenders who have been facing an intense crackdown on their vital work under the current administration. It is troubling to see a country that prides itself on being the largest democracy brazenly adopt such an authoritarian approach to silence critics and muzzle freedom of speech and expression.

Amnesty India’s forced shutdown is not an isolated incident and follows a trend of increased repression against activists, journalists, and any civil society member with a critical voice against the government. This is a worrying sign of a shrinking space for civil society and freedom of expression, the cornerstone of any democracy.

We call on the Indian government to urgently address this issue and to allow human rights organizations, activists and human rights defenders to operate freely and without fear. As a country that sits on the UN Human Rights Council, India needs to show that it respects human rights and is deserving of its seat.

Signed by :

  1. Accountability Watch Committee (AWC)
  2. Advocacy Forum-Nepal
  3. Alliance for Conflict Affected Women (Nispakshya)
  4. Alliance for Social Dialogue (ASD)
  5. Amnesty International Nepal
  6. Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
  7. Asian Justice and Rights (AJAR)
  8. Ashta Jaha Initiatives (Nepal)
  9. Centre for Legal Studies (CLS)
  10. Civil Rights Association Nepal (CIRAN)
  11. Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP)
  12. Conflict Victim Women National Network (CVWN)
  13. Conflict Victims’ Common Platform (CVCP)
  14. Conflict Victims’ National Alliance (CVNA)
  15. Conflict Victims’ Society for Justice (CVSJ)
  16. Democratic Freedom and Human Rights Institute (DFHRI)
  17. Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD)
  18. Forum of Women Journalist and Communicators
  19. Ganesh Ujjan Memorial Foundation
  20. Human Rights and Justice Centre (HRJC)
  21. Human Rights for Justice
  22. Human Rights Foundation (HURFON)
  23. Human Rights Organizations Nepal (HURON)
  24. Human Rights Protection and Promotion Center
  25. Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC)
  26. International Institute for Human Rights, Environment and Development ( INHURED)-International Nepal
  27. Justice and Rights Institute Nepal (JuRI-Nepal)
  28. Law and Policy Forum for Social Justice
  29. Legal Aid and Consultancy Centre Nepal (LACC)
  30. Maina Bal Bikash Samiti
  31. Martyrs’ and Disappeared Warrior Children Academy
  32. Nagarik Aawaz (NA)
  33. National Alliance of Women Human Right Defenders (NAWHRD)
  34. National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders
  35. National Network of Disabled Conflict Victims
  36. National Network of Families of Disappeared
  37. Nepal Forum for Restorative Justice
  38. Fusion Youth Network, Amnesty Nepal
  39. Nepal Law and Policy Centre
  40. Nepal Peacebuilding Initiative Nepal
  41. Peace Envisioners
  42. Public Defender Society of Nepal (PDS)
  43. Sancharika Samuha
  44. Sankalpa
  45. South Asian Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR)
  46. Tarangini Foundation
  47. Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance
  48. The Story Kitchen
  49. Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Nepal
  50. Voice of Women Media (VOW Media)
  51. Women for Human Rights (WHR)
  52. Women’s Rehabilitation Centre Nepal (WOREC Nepal)
  53. Agrima KC, Activist (Enough is Enough)
  54. Alam Khan, Human Rights Ativist THRD Alliance
  55. Amish Mulmi, Writer/Editor
  56. Amisha Adhikari, Human Rights Advocate
  57. Anita Thapaliya, Human Rights Activist
  58. Anurag Acharya
  59. Ashmita Sapkota, Activist
  60. Baburam Giri, Senior Advocate
  61. Badri Prasad Bhusal , Advocate
  62. Bal Krishna Ghimire, Advocate
  63. Barun Ghimire, Human Rights Advocate/Academician
  64. Bashana Bajracharya, Advocate
  65. Bhagiram Chaudhary, Human Rights Activist
  66. Bhakta Bishwakarma, Human Rights Activist
  67. Bhawani Prasad Kharel, Human Rights Activist
  68. Bidhur Dhakal, Journalist
  69. Bijay Raj Gautam, Executive Director, Informal Sector Service Center ( INSEC)
  70. Bikash Basnet, Human Rights Advocate
  71. Binita Khadka, Human Rights Protection and Promotion Center Banke (HRPPC)
  72. Binod Sijapati, Columnist
  73. Bipin Budhathoki, Deputy General Secretary, Amnesty Nepal
  74. Bir Bahadur Bista, Human Rights Advocate
  75. Birendra Thapaliya, Human Rights Activist
  76. Bishnu Pd. Pokhrel, Human Rights Advocate
  77. Bishnukala Bhandari, Social Activist
  78. Chandan Goopta, Computer Engineer
  79. Daman Nath Dhungana, Former Speaker, House of Representatives, Nepal
  80. Deepak Adhikari, Journalist
  81. Deepak Rauniyar, Filmmaker/ teaching artist
  82. Deepesh Shrestha, Artist/Activist
  83. Deepesh Shrestha, Lawyer and Activist
  84. Dev Bahadur Maharjan, Human Rights Activist
  85. Devi Sunuwar, Human Rights Activist
  86. Dewan Rai, Journalist
  87. Dinesh KC, Human Rights Activist
  88. Dinesh Tripathi, Senior Advocate and Human Rights Activist
  89. Discharged People’s Liberation Army Nepal
  90. Dr Vishnu S. Rai, Poet and Author
  91. Dr. Gaurishankar Lal Das, Former Commissioner of Human Rights Commission
  92. Dr. Gopal Krishna Siwakoti, Human Rights Activist
  93. Forum for Protection of People’s Rights Nepal
  94. Ganesh Mandal, Chairman Madesh Nagarik Samaj.
  95. Gaurav Chandra Gurung, Communications
  96. Geeta Rasaili, Human Rights Activist
  97. Ghanashyam Bagale
  98. Gopal Bahadur Shah, Human Rights Activist
  99. Govinda Bandi, Lawyer and Activist
  100. Hari Prasad Subedi, Senior Advocate
  101. Harihar Dahal, Former President Nepal Bar Association
  102. Hari Sharma, Writer and Activist
  103. Indira Acharya,Human Rights Advocate
  104. Indra Prasad Aryal, advocate and Human Rights Advocate
  105. Janak Bahadur Raut, Human Rights Activist
  106. Kala Koyu, Activist
  107. Kanak Mani Dixit, Senior Journalist
  108. Kapil Aryal, Associate Professor and Researcher
  109. Kashiram Dhungana, Human Rights Advocate
  110. Khemraj Regmi, President, Transparency International.
  111. Krishna Prasad Adhikari, Human Rights Activist
  112. Kumar Prasad Thapaliya, Human Rights Lawyer
  113. Kunjani Pariyar Pyasi, Human Rights Lawyer
  114. Lhakpa Lama, Activist
  115. Lisha Dangol, Human Rights Activist
  116. Mahamunishwor Acharya, Human Rights Activist
  117. Maina Karki, Human Rights Activist
  118. Mandira Sharma, Human Rights Activist
  119. Mohan Pariyar, Human Rights Activist
  120. Mukesh Jha, Technocrat
  121. Narayan Wagle, Writer and Journalist
  122. Nirajan Thapaliya, Human Rights Activist
  123. Nutan Thapaliya, Human Rights Activist & Founder of Amnesty International Nepal
  124. Om Prakash Sen Thakuri, Human Rights Advocate
  125. Omprakash Aryal, Human Rights Advocate
  126. Pankajlal Karna, Lawyer and Human Rights Activist
  127. Parbata Acharya, Vice Chair, Amnesty Nepal
  128. Pasang Sherpa,Lecturer, Former National Board Member, Amnesty Nepal
  129. Phadindra Luitel, Human Rights Activist
  130. Prabin Subedi, Advocate
  131. Pradip Pokhrel, Former Chair, Amnesty Nepal.
  132. Prajwol Bikram Rana, Coordinator, Fusion Youth Network, Amnesty Nepal
  133. Prashant Tripathi, Activist
  134. Praveen Kumar Yadav, HR Researcher & Journalist
  135. Prof. Birendra Mishra, Former Commissioner, Election Commission
  136. Prof. Kapil Shrestha, University Teacher and Human Rights Activist
  137. Puru Shah, Founder, Madhesi Youth
  138. Purushottam Dahal, Editor, Himalayan Times Daily (Nepali)
  139. Pushpa Raj Poudel, Human Rights Advocate
  140. Raj Kumar Mahaseth, Human Rights Advocate
  141. Rajan Prasad Kuikel, Journalist and Former Chair, Amnesty International Nepal
  142. Raju Prasad Chapagai, Constitutional & Human Rights Advocate
  143. Ram Lal Pokharel, Advocate
  144. Rameshwar Nepal, Former Director, Amnesty International Nepal
  145. Randhir Chaudhary
  146. Ranjeeta Silwal, Human Rights Advocate
  147. Rashmi Kandel, Social Activist
  148. Ravindra Karn, Associate Professor, University Teacher and Rights Activist
  149. Rita Thapa, Human Rights Defender
  150. Roshani Giri, Human Rights Advocate
  151. Rukamanee Maharjan, Human Rights Activist
  152. Rukmina Dahal, Human Rights Advocate
  153. Sabin Shrestha, Lawyer and Activist
  154. Sabitri Shrestha, Human Rights Activist
  155. Samiksha Koirala, National Board Member, Amnesty Nepal
  156. Sammar Basnet, Human Rights Advocate
  157. Sanita Upreti, Activist
  158. Santosh Sigdel, Digital Rights Nepal
  159. Sarita Khadka, Activist
  160. Shachita Kuikel, Board member, Amnesty Nepal
  161. Shailee Chaudhary, Activist/Content Creator
  162. Shailendra Ambedkar, Human Rights Advocate
  163. Shambhu Thapa, Former President, Nepal Bar Association.
  164. Shiva Bisangkhe, Activist
  165. Shiva Gaudel,Human Rights Advocate
  166. Shobhakar Budathoki, Human Rights Activist
  167. Shraddha Pokharel, Human Rights Researcher
  168. Shree Kumari Roka, Human Rights Activist
  169. Shreejana Pokhrel, Executive Director, INHURED International
  170. Sita Sharan Mandal, Advocate
  171. Som Niraula, Human Rights Activist
  172. Srijana Shrestha, Human Rights Activist
  173. Subin Mulmi, Human Rights Lawyer and Researcher
  174. Suman Adhikari, Human Rights Activists
  175. Sundar Bahadur Sheni, Human Rights Advocate
  176. Sunita Khatri, Student and Activist
  177. Suraksha Joshi, Activist
  178. Surendra Khatri, Human Rights Activist
  179. Surya Bahadur Adhikari, Former Chair of Amnesty International Nepal
  180. Susan Risal, Activist
  181. Tanka Prasad Dulal, Senior Advocate
  182. Tapan Kumar Bose, Secretary General, South Asian Forum for Human Rights
  183. Taranath Dahal, Former President, Federation of Nepal Journalists Association.
  184. Tej Bahadur Bohara, Human Rights Advocate
  185. Tirtha Koirala, Senior Journalist
  186. Yuda Dangi, Human Rights Activist

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