Malaysian Court Convicts Activist for Screening Human Rights Documentary � Global Voices: Image from @Callum_Macrae, the director of the documentary
A human rights activist was found guilty by a Malaysian court of violating the country's Film Censorship Act, which bans the screening of videos that don't have approval from the government.
Lena Hendry could face up to three years in jail after the Magistrate Court ruled on February 21 that her group organized a private screening of the documentary titled “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” without the permission of the Censorship Board.
The film screening, which was done on July 3, 2013, was attended by 150 people. During the show, 30 police officers raided the venue and stopped the program. The Sri Lanka embassy allegedly pressured the Malaysian government to block the screening of the documentary.
The police subsequently filed charges against Hendry, who was then the program officer of Malaysia-based human rights group Pusat KOMAS. In 2016 a local court acquitted Lena Hendry, but prosecutors appealed the decision.
“No Fire Zone” tackles the 2009 Sri Lankan civil war that reportedly killed up to 70,000 Tamil civilians. The producers claimed that the film helped in educating delegates to the UN Human Rights Council about the situation in Sri Lanka.
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