Court orders Indian govt to release Greenpeace funds

AP News
Posted: Jan 21, 2015 2:07 AM

NEW DELHI (AP) — A court has ordered the Indian government to release $300,000 sent by Greenpeace's foreign partners for use in India by the environmental group.

The funds were frozen in June last year amid accusations that Greenpeace's environmental campaigns were hurting India's development projects.

The court said Tuesday that there was no reason to block the funds and ordered their immediate release.

Greenpeace described the court order as a vindication of its work and the role non-governmental organizations play in safeguarding the environment.

"This is a strong signal from the judiciary that the government must cease its campaign of harassment of civil society," said Samit Aich, executive director of Greenpeace India.

Last week, Indian authorities stopped a Greenpeace activist from traveling to Britain where she was to brief lawmakers about a coal project in central India. No reason has been given for why Pillai was stopped at the Delhi airport as she was about to board a plane for London.

In the past, Indian intelligence agencies have accused several NGOs, including Greenpeace, of holding up development projects by staging protests.