Greenpeace staffer denied entry to India for ‘no reason’

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Greenpeace India said a member of the organisation’s international wing was denied entry to India, on Saturday, despite the official having a valid business visa.

“Our colleague has a valid business visa, and yet he was prevented from entering India with no reason given. We support the free movement of people across the world, which is crucial to the work of business as well as charities”, said a release issued by Greenpeace India on Monday.

The press release said Mr. Aaron Gray-Block, a Greenpeace International member, was barred from entering India on Saturday evening, despite having a valid business visa and all the necessary documents. He was travelling to India on an Australian passport “to take part in a series of meetings with staff and to learn more about Greenpeace India’s current campaigns”, it added. The NGO also said, neither the official nor the organisation, was given any formal explanation as to why he was denied entry.

The Gray-Block entry-denial controversy appears to be the latest episode in the government’s actions targeting the organisation and its activists. In a similar step, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in January this year, prevented Priya Pillai, a senior campaigner of the group, from flying to London. The move was later criticised by the Delhi High Court, terming it as “undemocratic”.

And in April, the MHA had blocked the bank accounts of the Greenpeace India, which was also challenged by the group in the court. The Delhi High Court later ordered the group to be allowed to access its domestic accounts, allowing the organisation to receive new donations and access the vast majority of its existing funds.

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