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US says it respects Amnesty's right to express freely

PTI
Published : Aug 23, 2016, 4:04 pm IST
Updated : Aug 23, 2016, 4:04 pm IST

Bengaluru Police have slapped sedition charges against Amnesty International India, for alleged anti-India slogans during an event.

AA ABVP protest.jpeg
 AA ABVP protest.jpeg

Bengaluru Police have slapped sedition charges against Amnesty International India, for alleged anti-India slogans during an event.

Washington: The US has refrained from commenting on the sedition charges slapped against Amnesty International over an event where anti-India slogans were allegedly raised, but said it respects the right of the global rights watchdog to express itself freely.

"We obviously, as we do around the world, support the right to freedom of expression and assembly, including through civil society," State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.

"We have seen these reports that local police in Bangalore have initiated preliminary investigation into allegations of sedition against Amnesty International. I direct you to the Bangalore police for more details into this investigation, but certainly we, as I said, respect the right for Amnesty and others to express themselves freely," Toner said.

Amnesty International had on August 13 organised an event as part of a campaign to seek justice for "victims of human rights violations" in Jammu and Kashmir, which took an ugly turn with heated exchanges and alleged raising of slogans in support of Kashmir's independence and against the Indian army.

Bengaluru Police have slapped sedition charges against Amnesty International India, which has said none of its employees had shouted any anti-India slogans.

The issue has turned into a major political slugfest with BJP, including several union ministers, accusing Congress of "sympathising with supporters of terrorists" and giving a clean chit to Amnesty International.

Going into damage control mode, Karnataka Home Minister G Parmeshwara has, however, denied giving a clean chit to Amnesty International and said the law would take its own course on the issue.