This article is published by, 4-12-2007

India: Arrest warrants issued for critics of jeans maker

International warrants are set to be issued today (4 December) for the arrest of Dutch human rights activists whose staff accused a jeans manufacturer of labour rights violations in its factories.

The warrant is the latest move in a long-running libel lawsuit filed by Fibres and Fabrics International (FFI) and its subsidiary Jeans Knits Pvt Ltd against Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the India Committee of the Netherlands.

The labour groups claimed FFI subjected workers to forced overtime, physical and psychological abuse, overwork without pay and failure to provide contracts.

But FFI, which produces jeans for G-Star, hit back with accusations of cybercrime, racist and xenophobic activities, and slander.

The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs is now due to execute the arrest warrants and request extradition of the eight Dutch nationals.

"Our 'crime' is to have published workers' testimonies on our websites, information which is publicly accessible in India, and to have shared this information with brands and the media," said Ineke Zeldenrust from CCC.

"If the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs decides to extradite us to personally stand trial, it will have serious consequences for all human rights and corporate accountability organisations". In particular, the case could make the credible implementation of corporate social responsibility policies in India impossible.

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Landelijke India Werkgroep - December 6, 2007