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UN and EU Should Immediately Investigate Fake Pro-India NGOs, Justice For All Demands.
The United Nations and the European Union must investigate fake NGOs that were exposed by a recent report detailing a secret, 15-year disinformation campaign designed to serve India’s interests.
The extensive report was published by EU Disinfo Lab, a Brussels-based non governmental organization. The findings reveal how 10 defunct but U.N.-accredited NGOs were “revived” in order to influence the EU and the U.N. Human Rights Council. It also uncovered over 750 fake global media outlets used to spread disinformation.
Hena Zuberi, Director, Justice For All (JFA) asked the U.N. and the EU to promptly initiate an investigation against individuals and institutions involved in disinformation and other malpractices. This campaign deflected criticism on India’s human rights such as the daily lynching takes places and violations against the Dalit, Muslim and Christian communities in main land India.
Justice For All would like to know if and how this campaign has played a role in the United Nations on Kashmir. Did the disinformation play a role in the United Nations not issuing a report on Kashmir since 2018?
“The lives of Kashmir people have been used as toys over the past 15 years through this vast system of disinformation and propaganda,” said Hena Zuberi of Justice For All.
Noting that Amnesty International has been forced out of India, Justice For All demands that India allow international organizations and UN agencies access to investigate Indian governments ties with ANI and the Srivastu Group.
“The United Nations Secretary General should issue a warning to the Indian government for faking the NGO process to unduly influence human rights causes and UN deliberations,” stated Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, founder of Justice For All.
“It is important for the United Nations to improve NGO participation and processes so fake and dead entities are not resurrected for use by governments,” he added.
He asked, “If prestigious institutions like the UN and EU can be influenced by fake institutions for 15 years, it speaks of security shortcomings at these institutions. As an accredited NGO we deplore the failure to check and evaluate credentials of NGOs working in Brussels and Geneva, that were apparently busy manipulating operations of these institutions.”
Here are some salient features of the Report:
- EU DisinfoLab investigates the Indian Chronicles — a 15 year-long operation run by India starting in 2005 to spread lies about Pakistan
- Primary objective of the operation was to undermine Pakistan internationally through more than 750 fake media outlets, reporting in 119 states
- More than 550 domain names were registered under the operation to create a web of platforms that propagated fake news.
- Indian news platform ANI played a key role in spreading the fake news created through this operation in India and around the world
- More than 750 Indian backed websites covering over 119 countries have been operational for about 15 years with the sole purpose of undermining interests of another country within the European Union and United Nations, a report on investigative research conducted by the EU DisinfoLab. The operation has been given a name — the Indian Chronicles.
- EU DisinfoLab’s investigation reveals that the Srivastava Group sponsored the operation, while a leading Indian news agency — Asian News International (commonly known as ANI) was used to further propagate it.
- This campaign started in 2005 and is still functional.
- India’s aim, as revealed in the investigation was to discredit countries in conflict with it, with a focus on Pakistan and to China.
- The EU DisinfoLab highlighted the operation’s long-term objectives, which included promoting content against their two neighbors and to consolidate power for India at international forums such as the EU and UN.
- To pursue their objective, the operation appeared to support minorities, human rights NGOs, and think-tanks.
- At the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, the operation was used to arrange side-events and demonstrations in support of minority rights, impersonate extinguished UN-accredited NGOs and use speaking slots reserved to various NGOs whose original missions seem unrelated.
- Fake media was created in Brussels, Geneva and across the world and then repackaged and disseminated via ANI and obscure local media networks — at least in 97 countries — to multiply the repetition of online negative content about countries in conflict with India.
Dead person attends UN sessions
- The EU DisinfoLab took a closer look at the Commission to Study the Organization of Peace (CSOP) and found that it had become inactive in the late 1970s before it was revived in 2005.
- The report revealed that CSOP had been “hijacked” and its former chairman Louis B Sohn, who had died in 2006, interestingly attended a UN Human Rights Council meeting in 2007.The same person had participated in an event organized by “Friends of Gilgit-Baltistan” in Washington DC in 2011.
- At least 10 of these fake NGOs were linked directly to the Srivastava family, with several other dubious NGOs pushing the same messages.
- The think tanks and NGOs spearhead demonstrations, lobbying and address press conferences at UN side-events — and are allowed to speak on the UN’s floor on behalf of the accredited organizations.
- All these 10 organizations were resurrected from the ashes of real NGOs and served the same agenda: promoting Indian interests at UN conferences and hearings.
Visits of MEPs to Kashmir
- In Brussels, these Srivastava Group-backed organizations arranged visits for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to Kashmir, Bangladesh, and the Maldives.
- Some of these visits had led to institutional controversy as the delegation of lawmakers were often portrayed as official EU delegations — when they were not travelling on behalf of the Parliament.
- The actors orchestrating Indian Chronicles are directly tied — and again not at all transparently — to the creation of three informal groups in the European Parliament, namely the ‘South Asia Peace Forum’, the ‘Baloch Forum’ and ‘Friends of Gilgit-Baltistan’,” the research said.
- Organisations like Women Economic and Social Think-Tank have written articles for fake EU magazines such as EP Today and drafted parliamentary questions to the European Commission.
- These served as a honeypot to attract a growing number of MEPs into a pro-India and anti-Pakistan discourse, often using causes such as minorities rights and women’s rights as an entry point.
- The EP Today — a new fake media outlet with “fake journalists” apparently reporting on European affairs — provides a platform for MEPs to sign articles that are in India’s support.
- In just a few months after its revival, 11 MEPs have written or endorsed op-eds at a “remarkably high pace” for EU Chronicles.
“ANI — which is considered as one of the biggest news agencies in India and the largest television agency of India — remains the only press agency [that] extensively covers[s] the activities of dubious NGOs in Geneva. After uncovering ANI’s reporting on these developments, the EU DisInfoLab discovered the Big News Network and the World News Network.