Aakar Patel Booked For Tweeting In Favour Of Right To Protest

Amnesty International India
Bengaluru: 5 June 2020 1:47 pm

On 2 June 2020, the Bengaluru police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Aakar Patel, former head of Amnesty International India for a Twitter post where he urged people to peacefully protest for their rights.

Referring to a peaceful protest in Denver, Colorado against the killing of George Floyd, Aakar’s Twitter post read: “We need protests like these from dalits, muslims, adivasis, poor and women. World will notice. Protest is a craft.” For this tweet, Aakar has been booked by the police for statements conducing to public mischief and giving provocation with intent to cause riot.

The Executive Director of Amnesty International India, Avinash Kumar said, “The FIR filed by the Bengaluru police against Aakar Patel 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. 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.”

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