Amnesty International, a United Kingdom-based non-governmental organisation, has announced the appointment of their new Executive Director, Avinash Kumar on Friday. Avinash Kumar will take charge of the organisation with effect from December 1, 2019. His appointment was announced by the Board of Trustees of Indians for Amnesty International Trust (IAIT).
As per the official website of Amnesty International, Avinash Kumar is a Ph.D. in Modern History from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is currently the Director of Programs and Policy at WaterAid India. Blending academics with activism, Kumar has earlier worked with Oxfam and did a post-doctoral fellowship at School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
After his appointment as the Executive director of Amnesty International, Avinash Kumar said, “It’s a great challenge to be leading Amnesty at a time when civil and political rights seem to be increasingly violated in the context of people asserting their socio-economic rights”.
According to their official website, “As part of the Nobel Prize-winning movement, Amnesty India’s work is to uphold universal human rights and foster accountability through research and advocacy on long-term issues such as human rights education and gender-based violence. Over four million Indians have supported Amnesty India’s work in the last six years. Avinash Kumar will head Amnesty International India’s operations and its efforts to end human rights abuses in India and worldwide. He will give direction to its goal of being an independent, effective, and deep-rooted organisation in India”.
Two months ago, Republic TV exposed that Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd is a commercial entity and it receives funds from Amnesty International UK for preparing pre-decided reports on Kashmir. The documents accessed by Republic TV indicated that Amnesty India has received around Rs. 5,29,87,663 from Amnesty International (UK) over the last few years to only prepare reports on Kashmir. They started off as a trust in 2010 by the name Amnesty International India Foundation Trust. But they were denied permission under FCRA, 2010 by the Ministry of Home Affairs. They resorted to bypassing the FCRA Act by floating a commercial entity in the name of Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL). Thereafter, they started receiving foreign funds through commercial routes.