The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, has condemned a police attack on newspaper staff in Noida, India on May Day, 1 May.
"Attacks on newspaper staff peacefully demonstrating for their due rights are a grave assault on workers' rights to organise and rights to freedom of expression," said IFJ President Christopher Warren.
Newspaper staff under the banner of the newly-formed Confederation of Newspaper and News Agencies Organisations, were on their way to Greater Noida to hold a demonstration at the venue of a function organised by the Hindustan Times, a leading English daily. The Hindustan Times terminated the services of 362 permanent employees on 2 October 2004.
The Hindustan Times management used a wholly-owned subsidiary, set up to encourage foreign investment, as a device to sack staff and hire a new workforce, causing deep concern about the recently-relaxed rules on foreign investment.
Prior permission for the march had been obtained from senior police officials and District Collector of Greater Noida. However, police stopped the workers on the Expressway which was blocked to traffic for a long time. As workers attempted to proceed, the police attacked the rally, injuring three workers.
"The management has illegally and ruthlessly undermined workers' rights, and this attack by the Uttar Pradesh police is particularly ironic, coming as it did on May Day, a symbol of workers' rights," said Warren.
For further information contact Christopher Warren on +61 411 757 668
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries