At FORUM-ASIA, we employ a range of strategies to effectively achieve our goals and create a lasting impact.

Through a diverse array of approaches, FORUM-ASIA is dedicated to achieving our objectives and leaving a lasting imprint on human rights advocacy.

Who we work with

Our interventions are meticulously crafted and ready to enact tangible change, addressing pressing issues and empowering communities.

Each statements, letters, and publications are meticulously tailored, poised to transform challenges into opportunities, and to empower communities towards sustainable progress.

Multimedia Stories

With a firm commitment to turning ideas into action, FORUM-ASIA strives to create lasting change that leaves a positive legacy for future generations.

Explore our dedicated sub-sites to witness firsthand how FORUM-ASIA turns ideas into action, striving to create a legacy of lasting positive change for future generations.

Subscribe our monthly e-newsletter

India: Amnesty International Forced to Halt Work – Government Increasingly Targeting Rights Groups

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

For Immediate Release

India: Amnesty International Forced to Halt Work
Government Increasingly Targeting Rights Groups

(New York, September 30, 2020) – Amnesty International India announced that it is halting its work in the country after the Indian government froze its bank accounts in an act of reprisal for the organization’s human rights work. Fifteen international human rights organizations condemned the Indian government’s actions against Amnesty India and pledged to continue support for local human rights defenders and organizations against the recent crackdown.

The Indian government’s actions against Amnesty India are part of increasingly repressive tactics to shut down critical voices and groups working to promote, protect, and uphold fundamental rights, said the Association for Progressive Communications, Global Indian Progressive Alliance, International Commission of Jurists, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Front Line Defenders, FORUM-ASIA, Foundation the London Story, Hindus for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, International Service for Human Rights, Minority Rights Group, Odhikar, South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.

The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government has accused Amnesty India of violating laws on foreign funding, a charge the group says is politically motivated and constitutes evidence ‘that the overbroad legal framework is maliciously activated when human rights defenders and groups challenge the government’s grave inactions and excesses.’

The BJP government has increasingly cracked down on civil society, harassing and bringing politically motivated cases against human rights defenders, academics, student activists, journalists, and others critical of the government under sedition, terrorism, and other repressive laws.

These actions increasingly mimic that of authoritarian regimes, which do not tolerate any criticism and shamelessly target those who dare to speak out. With growing criticism of the government’s discriminatory policies and attacks on the rule of law, the authorities seem more interested in shooting the messenger than addressing the grievances. Women’s rights activists and indigenous and minority human rights defenders have been especially vulnerable. The recent action against Amnesty India highlights the stepped-up pressure and violence felt by local defenders on the ground, regardless of their profile.

The authorities have repeatedly used foreign funding regulations under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), a law broadly condemned for violating international human rights law and standards, to target outspoken groups.

United Nations experts on human rights defenders, on freedom of expression, and on freedom of association have urged the government to repeal the law, saying it is ‘being used more and more to silence organisations involved in advocating civil, political, economic, social, environmental or cultural priorities, which may differ from those backed by the Government.’

Yet, the Indian parliament amended the FCRA this month, adding further onerous governmental oversight, additional regulations and certification processes, and operational requirements that would adversely affect civil society groups and effectively restrict access to foreign funding for small nongovernmental organizations.

A robust, independent, and vocal civil society is indispensable in any democracy to ensure a check on government and to hold it accountable, pushing it to do better. Instead of treating human rights groups as its enemies, the government should work with them to protect the rights of all people and ensure accountability at all levels of government.

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on India, please visit:

For more information, please contact:
– For Front Line Defenders, in Dublin, Adam Shapiro (English): +1-202-294-8813; or [email protected]
– For CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, in Johannesburg, David Kode (English): +27-73-775-8649; or [email protected]. Twitter: @CIVICUSalliance
– For FIDH, in Paris, Eva Canan (English, French): +33-6-48-05-91-57 (mobile); or [email protected]. Twitter: @fidh_en
– For International Commission of Jurists, in Geneva, Ian Seiderman: [email protected]
– For OMCT, in Geneva, Iolanda Jaquemet (English, French): +41-79-539-41-06; or [email protected]. Twitter: @omctorg
– For FORUM-ASIA, South Asia Programme in Bangkok : [email protected], Melissa Ananthraj :[email protected]
– For Human Rights Watch, in London, Meenakshi Ganguly (English, Bengali, Hindi): +91-9820-036032; or [email protected]. Twitter: @mg2411
– For South Asians for Human Rights, in Colombo, Nushka Nafeel (English): +94-11-2695910; or [email protected]
– For Foundation the London Story, in The Netherlands, Ritumbra Manuvie: +31-68-286-5225; or [email protected]
– For Hindus for Human Rights, in New York, Sunita Vishwanathan: +1-917-518-2441; or [email protected]
– For Global Indian Progressive Alliance, in the United States, Manish Madan: +1-609-878-0508; or [email protected]. Twitter: @GIPAlliance


The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is a Bangkok-based regional network of 81 member organisations across 21 Asian countries, with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. Founded in 1991, FORUM-ASIA works to strengthen movements for human rights and sustainable development through research, advocacy, capacity-development and solidarity actions in Asia and beyond. It has sub-regional offices in Geneva, Jakarta, and Kathmandu.

For further information, please contact:

For media inquiries, please contact:


For a pdf version of this statement please click here.