A court in Delhi has ordered the Indian government to remove the name of an environmental activist who was barred from travelling to London to address British MP’s.
Greenpeace campaigner Priya Pillai was stopped at New Delhi airport on 11 January after her name was placed on a “no fly list” of absconding criminals – despite not having any criminal convictions.
She had been planning to address a British parliamentary select committee on her work campaigning against a coal mine which Greenpeace says would affect the lives of thousands of villagers in rural Madhya Pradesh.
Ms Pillai took legal action against the Indian government, and on Thursday the Delhi High Court ordered authorities to remove her name from an official list of people who must be checked at immigration and expunge the incident from her records.
“The court said that she hadn’t done anything illegal,” Pillai’s lawyer Indira Jaising told AFP.
“You can investigate (Greenpeace) accounts, but that doesn’t take away the right to dissent.”
India has clamped down on activist groups over the past two years, including restricting direct transfers of foreign donations, following campaigns that have delayed important industrial projects.
She tweeted that the ruling was a “victory for democracy & free speech” and a “symbolic win for Indian people & movements who dare to have a different dream for our country”.