India fines Amnesty

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India has fined the local arm of Amnesty International nearly $8 million after a probe into its finances the watchdog said was part of a “witch hunt”.

Rights groups have long claimed they face harassment from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist administration for highlighting rights abuses, including in the disputed territory of Kashmir. Amnesty’s local bank accounts were frozen in 2020 as part of the probe, forcing the group to lay off staff and halt campaign and research work.

India’s Enforcement Directorate, the agency responsible for investigating financial crimes, said Friday that Amnesty had broken foreign funding laws by directing overseas contributions to expand its local operations.—AFP

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