Amnesty International India criticises police for filing FIR against Aakar Patel

The Executive Director of Amnesty International India, Avinash Kumar, criticised the Bengaluru police for registering an FIR against the organisation’s former India head and journalist, Aakar Patel, for a Twitter post in which he allegedly urged people to protest peacefully against police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the US.

“This is just another example of how the right to dissent is being increasingly criminalised in the country. The Bengaluru police must stop abusing its authority and put an end to the intimidation and harassment of Aakar Patel for exercising his constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression,” said Mr. Kumar in a statement.

Referring to a peaceful protest in Denver, Colorado, Mr. Patel had tweeted, “We need protests like these from dalits, muslims, adivasis, poor and women. World will notice. Protest is a craft.” The JC Nagar police used this to register an FIR where he was charged under Sections 505, 153 and 117 of IPC for allegedly provoking and instigating people of minority communities to organise similar protests in India citing the present unrest in the US.

“People of this country have the right to agree or disagree with those in power, and to express these opinions in peaceful protests - without fear or unlawful interference. Peacefully protesting against the government is not a crime. Not agreeing with the policies of those in power does not make you a traitor either,” said Mr. Kumar.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 5:17:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/amnesty-international-india-criticises-police-for-filing-fir-against-aakar-patel/article31758811.ece

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