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US backs Amnesty over India sedition case

india Updated: Aug 23, 2016 16:00 IST
Amnesty International

File photo of ABVP activists at a protest against Amnesty International India in New Delhi. A sedition case has been filed against the global rights group for hosting an event where alleged anti-India were raised. (PTI)

The United States has backed Amnesty International after a sedition case was registered against the global rights group in Bengaluru for hosting a Kashmir event where alleged anti-India slogans were raised.

State department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said the US supported the right to freedom of expression for anyone including the Amnesty.

“With Amnesty International, I’m sorry. Well, we obviously, as we do around the world, support the right to freedom of expression and assembly, including through civil society,” Toner told reporters here on Monday.

He was asked about the sedition charge against the group in India after they staged an event called Broken Families on the situation of different families in Kashmir.

Read: ‘You can’t bring every criticism under the ambit of sedition’

Toner said the state department was aware of the reports that police in Bengaluru have “initiated preliminary investigation into allegations of sedition against Amnesty International.

“I direct you to the police for more details into this investigation, but certainly we, as I said, respect the right for Amnesty and others to express themselves freely.”

The remarks came a day after Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara said he had “not given any clean chit” to the rights group. He had earlier said the group was not involved in anti-national activities though some anti-India slogans were raised by some participants.

During the August 13 event, peace and justice in Kashmir was discussed and three families from the strife-torn Valley talked about alleged rights violations.

A complaint was registered after Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s alleged that Amnesty representatives and other participants shouted anti-national slogans and criticised the army’s role in the border state.