Centre for Social DevelopmentCases
- Location of case in SG report
- Relevant SG report
- Year of the report
- From Country
- Country Geolocation
- Country Geolocation (linked Cases)
- From Region
- UN body that raised the case prior to the SG report
- Assistant Secretary-General
- Dates of prior UN action
- 7 June 2018
- Type of record
- Named organization
- Was the victim a foreign national?
- Was the victim a minor?
- Type of rights defended
- Indigenous peoples’ rights
- Land rights/environment
- Was the victim a civil servant, member of the security forces or of the judiciary?
- Reported trigger of reprisal
The Centre for Social Development submitted a report in October 2017 to the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights and to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which included inquiries related to uranium mining and cement factories in Meghalaya. According to the Centre for Social Development, it has submitted nine reports to the United Nations since 2006 concerning violations of the rights of indigenous peoples in northeast India in relation to large-scale development projects, mining operations, and implementation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. They have requested the Committee’s action under its early warning procedure.
- Engagement with UN body
- UN Treaty Bodies: CERD
- UN Special Procedures: thematic
- Dates of engagement
- since 2006; October 2017
- Type of attempted engagement
- Submission of information to UN
- Dates of mentioned reprisals
- since August 2017; 1 January 2018
- Reprisal information
received a six months suspension. According to reports, the suspension was based on claims that the Centre for Social Development violated the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act by using foreign funding for purposes other than intended by the law, including drawing attention to Uranium mining in Meghalaya at “several global platforms.”
since August 2017, when surveillance of its premises and staff’s movements began. The offices of the organization were reportedly visited by the Central Reserve Policy Force and others to question the staff about their work, and staff have been harassed.
One staff member was physically attacked on 18 August 2017 [CODED SEPARATELY]. In November 2017, one staff member and two volunteers of the organization were called in for questioning by the police [CODED SEPARATELY].
- Types of reprisals suffered
- Administrative reprisal
- Threats/Intimidations (incl. "fear of reprisal")
- Alleged/likely perpetrators
- State actors
- Was the reprisal based on new legislation?
- Does the report make general comment about country’s environment for engagement with UN?
- Government response dates
- 2 July 2018
- Government response content
responded that the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of 2010 prohibits acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution for activities detrimental to national interest. It noted that ... the Centre for Social Development “needs to conform to the legal framework and the requirements under FCRA.”
- Is the country cited for a "pattern of reprisal" in the context of this case?
- Is a pattern of reprisals mentioned otherwise in the context of this case?
- Does the report cite "self-censorship" as an issue in the context of this case?
- How many times has the case been followed up in subsequent SG reports?
- In which SG report was this case followed up on? 0
- Follow up information provided in SG report 0
The 2018 report of the Secretary-General drew attention to concerns about the application of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 2010 (FCRA) to civil society for their cooperation with the UN (A/HRC/39/41, para. 50 and Annex I, paras. 60–67). On 20 December 2018, three special procedures mandate holders addressed the detrimental impact of the FCRA for Indian organizations’ ability to access foreign funding and expressed concern that that, under the FCRA, Amnesty International India and Greenpeace India and some of its affiliates have had their offices raided, bank accounts frozen or registration suspended or cancelled (IND 28/2018). 57. In the 2018 report of the Secretary-General (A/HRC/39/41, para. 50 and Annex I paras. 63–65), it was reported that the Centre for Social Development (CSD) and its staff had been surveilled for submitting information to and meeting with the UN on uranium mining and cement factories in Meghalaya, and consequently the organization’s bank account was frozen for 6 months on claims that it violated the FCRA. In April 2019, the CSD reportedly filed a case against the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Manipur High Court, which is currently ongoing. In May 2019, the organization received notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs indicating that under the FCRA its bank account was de- frozen and activities could be resumed. It is reported that the Secretary of the organization, Mr. Nobokishore Urikhimbam, has reportedly been surveyed by military intelligence officials at his office premises and at his home in Imphal. In November 2018 as well as in April and May 2019, the CSD and some of its staff were also reportedly under surveillance by individuals who questioned the staff, including at their places of residence, about their activities and sources of funding.
- Followup Trends 0
- Significant positive and negative developments
- Did the government respond? 0
- In which SG report was this case followed up on? 1
- Follow up information provided in SG report 1
Allegations of reprisals against the Centre for Social Development (CSD) in Manipur and its staff, including its secretary Mr. Nobokishore Urikhimbam, were included in the 2018 and 2019 reports of the Secretary-General (A/HRC/42/30, Annex II, para. 57; A/HRC/39/41, para. 50 and Annex I paras. 63–65) on allegations of surveillance and freezing of their bank account for cooperation with the UN. On 11 September 2019, special procedures mandate holders (IND 18/2019) raised concern about the suspension of registration of CSD, and the surveillance, threats and attacks against its staff and their family members. It was reported to OHCHR that in October 2019 the CSD’s license under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 2010 (FCRA), which had been suspended, had been reinstated. 73. Mandate holders drew particular attention to the 4 July 2019 attempted shooting of Mr. Urikhimbam’s daughter, which appeared to be linked to his work in defence of human rights and his engagement with the UN (IND 18/2019). On 5 July 2019, the family of the victim filed a complaint at the Singjamei Police Station and, two weeks later, a First Information Report was registered by the police. Due to a fear of further reprisals, the mandate holders noted that Mr. Urikhimbam cancelled a trip to Geneva to represent CSD and United NGOs Mission Manipur in discussions on the margins of the July 2019 session of the Human Rights Committee, and also in September 2019 to attend the Human Rights Council. As of May 2020, it was reported to OHCHR that the alleged perpetrators of the attempted shooting of Mr. Urikhimbam’s daughter had not been identified.
On 31 July 2020, the Government responded in detail to the note verbale sent in connection to the present report. Regarding the situation of CSD in Manipur, the Government stated that the FCRA has been enacted to regulate the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by individuals or associations or companies to ensure that funds are not used for purposes detrimental to India’s national interests. The FCRA registration of CSD was suspended as it has been assessed and found to be in violation of this Act. Regarding the preventive detention of Mr. Parvez, the Government stated that it has been drawn from the cases registered against him Under Section (U/S) 151, 107 Code of Criminal Procedures (CRPC) for his activities against the public order in the past few years. The Government noted that a person who is under investigation for a criminal case registered against him under law is required to cooperate with the investigating agencies, and should not try to leave the country till the investigations are completed.
- Followup Trends 1
- Significant positive and negative developments
- Date of follow up 1
- 11 September 2019
- Did the government respond? 1
- Was this case followed up by a UN body? 1
- UN Special Procedures: Thematic
- In which SG report was this case followed up on? 2
- Follow up information provided in SG report 2
- Allegations of reprisals against the Centre for Social Development (CSD) in Manipur and its staff, including its secretary Mr. Nobokishore Urikhimbam, were included in the 2020, 2019 and 2018 reports of the Secretary-General.173 Staff had reportedly been under surveillance for submitting information to and meeting with the UN on human rights and other concerns related to uranium mining and cement factories in Meghalaya, and, consequently, the organization’s bank account was frozen on claims that it violated the FCRA (IND 18/2019). In a separate incident, special procedures mandate holders drew particular attention to the attempted shooting of Mr. Urikhimbam’s daughter, which appeared to be linked to his work in defence of human rights and his engagement with the UN (IND 18/2019).
- During the reporting period, concerns raised about the suspension of registration of CSD in September 2019 (IND 18/2019) and the surveillance, threats and attacks against its staff and their family members and that of other organizations in the United NGOs Mission Manipur (UNM-M) reportedly continued. Between October and December 2020, uniformed and plain clothed police officers allegedly surveilled CSD’s offices on a daily basis. OHCHR has been informed that CSD has refrained from sharing information, in particular, detailed reports gathered about environmental damage and health risks to communities from mining in Manipur, with the UN for fear of further reprisal. Given the September 2020 amendments to the FCRA, CSD is concerned about the receipt of foreign funds which they rely on for their research and advocacy, including at the UN.
- Regarding the attempted shooting of Mr. Urikhimbam’s daughter in July 2019, it was reported to OHCHR that as of May 2021, the investigation remained pending. Mr. Urikhimbam’s family reportedly provided the police with the names of five witnesses who could provide information on the shooting, but the police reportedly declined to consider gathering their testimonies.
- Followup Trends 2
- Deterioration/further reprisals
- Did the government respond? 2
- In which SG report was this case followed up on? 3
- Follow up information provided in SG report 3
- The situation of the Centre for Social Development (CSD) in Manipur and its staff, including its secretary Mr. Nobokishore Urikhimbam, were included in the 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 reports of the Secretary-General on allegations of surveillance, the freezing of bank accounts under the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) and attempted killing of close relatives for his human rights work and his engagement with the United Nations in relation to uranium mining and cement factories in Meghalaya (IND 18/2019). During the previous reporting period, CSD allegedly refrained from sharing information on environmental damage and health risks to communities from mining in Manipur with the United Nations for fear of further reprisal.
- Followup Trends 3
- Deterioration/further reprisals
- Did the government respond? 3