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US Backs Amnesty India, Says Freedom of Expression Should be Protected

File photo of US Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner .

File photo of US Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner .

US state department has said that the right to express any opinion freely has to be protected.

Concerned over the sedition case against Amnesty International in India, US state department has said that the right to express any opinion freely has to be protected.

US Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said, "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," he said.

Toner's statement came a day after Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said he had not given a clean chit to Amnesty International for hosting an event where anti-India slogans were allegedly raised in Bengaluru.

"First of all let me clarify because there is a lot of talk in the media about it.... let me be very clear, I have not given any clean chit to Amnesty International," Parameshwara had said.

On August 13, the Indian chapter of Amnesty International had organised an event as part of a campaign to seek justice for "victims of human rights violations" in Jammu and Kashmir. That event took an ugly turn with heated exchanges and a raising of anti-India slogans.

first published:August 23, 2016, 10:18 IST