DR journalists banned from India

India has stopped issuing visas to journalists of Denmark’s public broadcaster, DR, due to a 2010 documentary focusing on working conditions within the country’s textile industry.

The dispute is thought to surround Blod, sved og T-Shirts (Blood, Sweat and T-shirts), a programme which followed a group of young Danes as they struggled to survive while working in clothes factories in India.

Confirming reports of the ban to Jyllands-Posten newspaper, the Indian Embassy in Copenhagen said, “We had a very bad experience with DR, so they are excluded. All other Danish journalists are welcome.”

In a similar vain to documentaries produced by the BBC, Blod, sved og T-Shirts showed the group arguing with employers in order to receive their pay, living in squalid conditions and struggling a buy even a few pieces a fruit each day.

Although the BBC has not been banned from reporting in the country, the un-named source at the embassy suggested that the DR ban is unlikely to end soon.”It will take some time. At the moment, we have not decided to let them back in,” he told Jyllands-Posten.

According to the conservative Danish foreign affairs spokesman Stig Møller, the move is undemocratic and violates an agreement between the two countries. “We must protest. It must be made clear to India that they do not have the right to impede the freedom of the press,” he said.

“They have a right to be dissatisfied, but they should either refute DR’s claims or report them to the Pressenævnet [Danish press council],” he added.