Amnesty rebuts allegations

17 Aug 2016 | Written by Supriya Kaur; Edited by Gaurav

Amnesty India published a statement and responded to allegations in ABVP's complaint.

It stated that the sedition charges were "without substance" as none of Amnesty's employees raised slogans nor assaulted ABVP activists as alleged.

It clarified that the event focused solely on human rights violations and denial of justice to victims: issues which were discussed regularly in the media by politicians and civil society.

In context: Amnesty and the 'sedition' quagmire

BackgroundSedition charges against Amnesty

Amnesty India organized an event called 'Broken Families of Kashmir' in Bangalore.

The event was held to allow bereaved Kashmiri families to speak about their tragedies and seek justice for human rights violations in the restive state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Towards the end of the event, allegedly pro-freedom slogans were raised; consequently an FIR was filed against Amnesty by ABVP activists.

17 Aug 2016Amnesty rebuts allegations

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Range of reactions

17 Aug 2016Range of reactions

Senior lawyers categorically stated that 'sedition' charges were misapplied here; legal luminary Prashant Bhushan, filed a PIL in the Supreme Court against 'misuse' of sedition laws.

The Central government today announced a probe into a 'possible' FCRA violation by Amnesty.

Congress leader, Digvijay Singh, advised Karnataka Chief Minister to hold off on arrests.

Former Amnesty head strongly criticised Amnesty's support to Kashmiri terrorist groups.

DetailsWhat happens next?

The Bangalore Police have access to the video recordings of the Amnesty event.

These will be studied to determine authenticity of the allegations made by ABVP in its FIR.

The Chief Minister of Karnataka has assured senior Congress leaders that no arrests will be made while the investigations are still pending.

Recent examples of sedition charges

Earlier this year, Jawaharlal Nehru University's student union President, Kanhaiya Kumar, was slapped with sedition charges on allegations of raising anti-national slogans during an event in the college campus. Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi was also charged under sedition laws in 2012 for allegedly insulting the country.

18 Aug 2016Former Law Min calls Amnesty charges illegal

Former Union law Minister Veerappa Moily has called the sedition charges slapped against Amnesty International illegal.

Moily said he spoke to Karnataka's Home Minister, reminding him that sloganeering cannot invite charges of sedition.

He said he would take up the matter with Karnataka's CM to ensure such incidents do not reoccur.

He added that the Home Ministry should issue a circular in this regard.

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19 Aug 2016Govt gaze on Amnesty foreign funds, Delhi staff skip work

The government has asked Amnesty International to register itself under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act so that its foreign funding can be better scrutinised.

The organization has also advised its Delhi staff to work out of different locations based on police advice.

The government is also expected to issue a fresh advisory, asking all NGOs spending over Rs.10,00,000 to register under the FCRA

23 Aug 2016Karnataka clarifies, no clean chit to Amnesty International

Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara clarified that the state has not given mnesty International a clean chit in the sedition row.

He had to issue the clarification after his remarks about Amnesty not having indulged in anti-national activity drew sharp criticism from all quarters.

He added that the "investigation is underway. The law will take its own course."