NHRC must intervene in Amnesty case: activists

NHRC must intervene in Amnesty case: activists

NHRC must intervene in Amnesty case: activists

Expressing concern over Amnesty International being charged with sedition, a rights defenders’ forum on Tuesday sought intervention by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the issue.

In a statement, Human Rights Defenders Alert (HRDA) said the action against Amnesty is the latest in a series of incidents where state agencies have clamped down on civil society organisations and rights groups critical of official policies.

“HRDA expresses deep concern regarding the case against Amnesty International India, a globally reputed human rights organisation, against whom the Karnataka Police have filed an FIR under sedition law, done with an aim to harass and persecute the organisation,” it said.

It also sought the NHRC’s intervention on the ground that Section 12(d) of the Protection of Human Rights Act (1993) empowers it to review the safeguards provided by the Constitution or any law for the protection of human rights, and recommend measures for their effective implementation.

The case was registered following complaints that anti-national and pro-Pakistan slogans in favour of freedom for Kashmir were raised at a function organised by Amnesty in Bengaluru on August 13. Amnesty clarified that as a matter of policy, it does not take any position in favour of or against demands for self-determination.

At the same time, it also considers that the right to freedom of expression under international human rights laws protects the right to peacefully advocate political solutions that do not involve incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.

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