New Delhi: 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 saw 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.