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Amnesty chief says group will defy Modi govt's bid to 'crush' criticism

"We are not intimidated," says Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International's Indian-origin secretary-general.

AFP | PTI  |  Washington 

Policemen patrolling at Lal Chowk after restrictions were lifted in Srinagar on Tuesday | Photo: PTI

Amnesty International's chief has vowed that the rights group would not be silenced on raising concerns about despite what he called intimidation by the government.

India's financial crime investigators recently accused Amnesty's local branch of violating foreign exchange regulations through taking money from its London-based parent.

That claim came after Amnesty vocally criticised the Modi government on Kashmir, which was India's only Muslim-majority state until New Delhi stripped its autonomy last month.

"The Modi government has made a very big attempt to crush Amnesty in India," Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International's Indian-origin secretary-general, told AFP on a visit to Washington on Monday.

"On the question, on various human rights questions in India itself, we are not intimidated," he said.

"While our colleagues in our Indian office are under stress, they are as committed, motivated and courageous as ever, if not more, as a result of the repression that we face." Naidoo, however, said that Amnesty -- whose Bangalore office was raided last year -- would survive in India as it has funding from local donors.

First Published: Tue, September 17 2019. 17:23 IST