World press body condemns attack on Indian daily

October 18th, 2008 - 2:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Oct 18 (IANS) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned attempts to storm the offices of Indian newspaper The Hindu in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore city and the subsequent burning of newspaper copies in nearby Erode, EuAsiaNews reported Saturday.The world’s biggest journalists’ organisation said in a statement Friday that it joins the Indian Journalists’ Union and other Indian affiliates in condemning “this fresh outbreak of political vigilantism and the attempt to intimidate a widely read and well-respected newspaper”.

According to reports from Tamil Nadu, a group of lawyers claiming allegiance to a little known political group, the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK), marched on the newspaper’s offices in Coimbatore Oct 14, shouting slogans and demanding that the newspaper change its editorial stance on the ongoing civil war in Sri Lanka.

The lawyers shouted slogans in support of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a separatist group that has been fighting the Sri Lankan government for over a quarter century, and was declared an unlawful organisation by India in 1991, said the statement.

“The IFJ notes that the authorities in Tamil Nadu have arrested some of the individuals behind these attacks,” it said and called upon political leaders in the state to publicly repudiate such acts of violence and intolerance.

The Brussels-based IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries.

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