This article is published by, 1-10-2007

Netherlands: Garment factory continues to sue its critics

CCC and ICN campaigners face two years imprisonment if found guilty under Indian penal code of "cyber crime", "acts of racist and xenophobic nature", and "criminal defamation" for speaking out on labour rights violations at an Indian garment producer.

The organisations and seven of its staff members were first summoned to appear in court on 25 June 2007. The City Court of Bangalore has issued an arrest warrant in order to ensure the defendants presence at the next hearing.

This legal action follows a series of legal threats and actions by jeans producer Fibre & Fabrics International and its 100% subsidiary Jeans Knits Pvt Ltd (FFI/JKPL) in Bangalore, where labour rights organisations have pointed to labour rights violations since the end of 2005.

FFI/JKPL, refusing to enter into dialogue with these labour rights organisations, have instead filed complaints of slander at the local court.

Since July 2006, the local labour rights organisations are banned from speaking out about labour rights violations in the company's production facilities.

The injunction order was prolonged in February 2007 and since that time the case is still dragging on.

The CCC and ICN are concerned that these legal actions are setting a bad precedent and more suppliers may try to use legal means to prevent labour rights and campaigning organisations to report on abuses in the garment industry.

This would definitely lessen the effectiveness of efforts to improve the ethical behaviour of companies.

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Landelijke India Werkgroep - October 3, 2007