Amnesty Slams Arrest of Delhi CM

Amnesty International: Crackdown on opposition reaches a crisis point ahead of national elections in India

Responding to the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi state Chief Minister and opposition leader from the Aam Aadmi Party, along with freezing of bank accounts of another leading opposition party, Indian National Congress, Aakar Patel, chair of board at Amnesty International India, said:

“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Indian government’s crackdown on peaceful dissent and opposition has now reached a crisis point. The authorities have repeatedly exploited and weaponized various financial and terrorism laws to systematically crackdown on human rights defenders, activists, critics, non-profit organisations, journalists, students, academics and political opposition. The arrest of Arvind Kejriwal and the freezing of Indian National Congress’ bank accounts a few weeks before India holds its general elections show the authorities’ blatant failure to uphold the country’s international human rights obligations.

“What we are witnessing is a brutal crackdown on human rights including through the misuse of central investigative and financial agencies, attacks on peaceful protests, arbitrary arrests, use and export of invasive spyware for unlawful surveillance, systematic discrimination against religious minorities to feed into their majoritarian Hindutva politics and targeted suspension of opposition leaders from the Parliament who dare to hold the authorities to account.

“The growing crackdown clearly shows the authorities’ blatant disregard for human rights and rule of law. Authorities must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of everyone in the country including human rights defenders, activists, and opposition candidates before, during and after the general elections which are due to begin in April 2024. Authorities must also ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims of human rights violations.

“State institutions must be allowed to function independently and effectively. Authorities must stop weaponizing the criminal justice system to intimidate and harass human rights defenders, activists and opposition candidates.”


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