This comes after a sedition case was registered against Amnesty

Amnesty sedition case US State Dept says rights group has right to free speechScreengrab
news Amnesty row Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 14:18

Deputy Spokesperson of the US state department Mark Toner in a press meeting spoke in support of human rights group Amnesty in light of the sedition case registered in Bengaluru.

"With against 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."

"We've seen these reports that local police in Bangalore (Bengaluru) 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 in an official address, reported News18.

Incidentally, Toner was replying to a question asked on the same by Jahanzaib Ali working for Pakistani news channel ARY News TV.

The Bengaluru police (with a Congress government in state) had registered a case against the rights group after the BJP and the ABVP had staged protests demanding the arrest of Amnesty officials.

ABVP and later the BJP had alleged that anti-India slogans were shouted at the August 13 event called “Broken Families”, which dealt with alleged rights violations in Kashmir.

However, the CM of the state had assured that no arrests would be made in the case without investigation.   

Reacting to the Congress’s stance on the issue, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of indulging in vote-bank politics and said the issue was not limited to freedom of speech. Jaitley also referred that Amnesty gets some amount of funding from foreign entities.  

Amnesty’s event comes in the backdrop of protests in Kashmir in the wake of Burhan Wani’s killing by the armed forces. During these protests, at least 68 people (including security personnel) have lost their lives and curfew is imposed for the 46th day. Several hundred Kashmiris have been injured by the use of pellet guns, many of them blinded. 

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