Statement of Aakar Patel, Head of Amnesty India
Bengaluru/ New Delhi: 15 December 2018 10:07 am
There have been hard times at Amnesty India, but none quite as difficult as the past two weeks. As we fight to continue our human rights work in India, we have been compelled to reduce our operations to a bare minimum.
The actions taken against Amnesty India by the Enforcement Directorate in October this year have forced us into a situation where we are no longer able to pay the salaries of all our staff members. As a result, we have had to take a series of difficult organisational decisions – the most heart-breaking being parting ways with many valued and respected colleagues.
We are acutely aware of the impact this will have on our colleagues and their families, and we are committed to providing any possible assistance to aid them through this transition.
Overall, we have had to end the contracts of 68 employees and consultants across different teams. This amounts to a reduction in our workforce by over 30%. The decisions were taken after an exhaustive review process by our senior management team. We have also cut several other operation-related expenses across the organization.
We are immensely grateful to each of our colleagues for the passion, dedication and hard work that has been instrumental in building the Amnesty movement in India. We hope our colleagues will be open to working with us again when we are financially stronger. In the meantime, we will try to carry forward their work by doing our best to defend human rights and constitutional values in India, and speaking up for justice, liberty and equality.