Amnesty International, a leading Non Governmental Organisation that champions the cause of human rights across the globe has released its latest report titled “WE ARE BEING PUNISHED BY THE LAW – THREE YEARS OF ABROGATION OF ARTICLE 370 IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR” on September 2, 2022. The report is a spine chilling account of how Indian authorities suppress the voices of dissent and how journalists and civil society activists are harassed. The report strongly refutes the claim of normalcy in Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir after the August 5, 2019 events.
At the very outset of the report, Amnesty International narrates difficulties it had to face to gather first hand information due to the Indian government’s crackdown on Amnesty International workers. Smear campaigns were carried out and allegations against Amnesty International were levelled by the Indian government under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. The unrelenting offensive by Indian authorities and freezing of its bank accounts without any prior notice ultimately led Amnesty International to roll back its operations in India in September 2020. For this particular report, Amnesty International consulted 25 journalists, civil society activists and human rights defenders. Many journalists when approached were reluctant to share their views out of fear of reprisals from Indian authorities. To overcome this limitation, Amnesty International relied on media sources, statements by various UN Special Rapporteurs, speeches by Indian politicians and public officials, documentary evidence available on the website of Jammu and Kashmir High Court as well as reports by other human rights organisations.