France, Paris, 2021-12-11. Photograph by Xose Bouzas / Hans Lucas. Demonstration for a popular ecological front against the extreme right and the president of the french republic, at the Republic Square. Illustration with the logo of Amnesty International on the vest of an observer of the demonstration. France, Paris, 2021-12-11. Photographie par Xose Bouzas / Hans Lucas. Manifestation rassemblent pour un front populaire ecologique face a l extreme droite et le president de la republique francaise, a place de la republique. Illustration avec le logo d Amnesty International sur le gilet d un observateur de la manifestation. || Mindestpreis 10 Euro

The human rights organization Amnesty International is to pay a fine of more than 7.5 million euros in India for financial crimes. The investigating agency said on Friday that Amnesty had violated foreign funding laws by using foreign donations to expand its local activities. The organization denounced a targeted “witch hunt” by the authorities against human rights activists.

The investigating agency said Amnesty India was fined $6.5 million for accepting illegal foreign donations. Former Amnesty director Aakar Patel is also expected to pay a further $1.3 million in fines. In connection with the investigation, Amnesty’s Indian bank accounts had already been frozen in 2020.

Critics have long accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of making life difficult for activists and non-governmental organizations with strict financial regulations and restrictions on foreign funding. In 2015, a year after Modi took office, the Indian government froze the bank accounts of the Indian branch of the environmental organization Greenpeace.