ED Freezes Amnesty International India’s Bank Accounts

The organisation called it an effort to “muzzle democratic dissent”.

2 min read
Hindi Female

A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches at the office of Amnesty International India, the bank accounts of the human rights watchdog have been frozen.

In a statement released on Friday morning, Amnesty International India said their operations have always conformed to national regulations. “The Enforcement Directorate alleges that the transactions between Amnesty International Ltd and Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd are not legal. This is untrue. The money has been received in total compliance with the Companies Act and other laws,” read the statement.

According to the statement, around 1:30 pm on Thursday, ED officials locked the gates of the office and ordered the Amnesty India staff to remain in office, shut their laptops, and not use their mobile phones.

“The focus of the Enforcement Directorate’s questioning was the relationship between two entities: Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd and Amnesty International India Foundation. Most of the documents asked for during the search were available in the public domain or were already filed with the relevant authorities,” read the statement.

The human rights organisation added that despite the documents being in the public domain, the Indian authorities leaked a cache of their internal documents marked ‘secret’ to create an aura of suspicion against the organisation.

Spokespersons at Amnesty International said a detailed statement on the specific allegations by ED would be released soon.


On Thursday, 25 October, the Enforcement Directorate had conducted raids at the office of Amnesty India in Bengaluru .

The organisation called it an effort to “muzzle democratic dissent”.
Photo of Amnesty International office in Bengaluru, earlier on Thursday. 
(Photo: Arun Dev/The Quint)

Amnesty International Violated Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act: ED

According to a press release by the ED, the probe was initiated after the department found irregularities in the organisation’s finances.

In the release, it said “after Amnesty international India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) was denied the permission/registration under FCRA 2010 by Ministry of Home Affairs. They resorted to bypass the FCRA Act by floating commercial entity in the name of Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL).”

Furthermore, the press release said that out of the Rs 36 crore AIIPL received, the organisation divided the sum through various entities to evade taxes.

The organisation called it an effort to “muzzle democratic dissent”.
Press Release by The Enforcement Directorate on Amnesty International 

After media houses carried out stories on raids at Amnesty International, lawyer activist Prashant Bhushan condemned the raids and called the act a ‘misuse of institutions in India’ on Twitter.


Earlier this month, the Enforcement Directorate had stopped operations of Greenpeace India Society’s 12 accounts with different banks and three current accounts of a private company pending an ongoing probe into suspected foreign exchange rule violations.

The organisation called it an effort to "muzzle democratic dissent".

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Topics:  Amnesty India 

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