The Nepal authorities must immediately and unconditionally release members and supporters of Amnesty International Nepal who were detained after protesting outside the Indian embassy this morning, Amnesty International said today.
At least 30 people – including members of the board of Amnesty International Nepal, staff, and supporters – were detained while protesting against the Indian government’s crackdown on civil society, including raids on the offices of Amnesty International India and attempts to shut down its campaigning in the country.
“We demand that our colleagues are released immediately and unconditionally. The Nepal authorities have displayed the very same repressive tactics Amnesty International supporters were protesting against. They were there to express their solidarity with our colleagues in India and to call on the Indian government to end its crackdown on human rights. Violating their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, the Nepal authorities are showing that human rights are also at risk in Nepal,” said Biraj Patnaik, South Asia Director at Amnesty International.
The Amnesty International movement globally is calling on the Indian government to end its crackdown on human rights.
On 25 October, Amnesty International India became the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society when the organization’s offices in Bengaluru were raided by the Enforcement Directorate, an agency that looks into financial crimes. Amnesty International India’s bank accounts were frozen. Subsequently, the Ministry of Home Affairs also raided the Amnesty International India offices.
Coming on the heels of similar actions against Greenpeace India earlier in October, heavy-handed methods are being used to further shrink civic space and stop the vital human rights and climate change campaigning work of the two organizations.