International open letter calls for Malaysia to drop charges against activist

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 13 Dec 2015

PETALING JAYA: Almost a hundred film-makers, writers, artists and lawyers from all over the world have signed an open letter urging the Malaysia government to drop the charges against human rights activist Lena Hendry (pic) for organising a screening of a controversial documentary.

As reported in the Colombo Gazette, the letter called for the charges against Hendry to be dropped and to repeal the Film Censorship Act 2002 as they said it was used to “attack and prevent freedom of speech”.

The report said the signatories of the letter included many well known actors, directors and artists such as the rapper M.I.A, Grammy Award winning Angelique Kidjo and leading film directors from the US, India, Malaysia and the UK.

It said that the letter was addressed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as well as Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.

In July 2013, Hendry, the programme coordinator for a human rights group Pusat Komas, screened the film to an audience of about 150 people.

The documentary, No Fire Zone, explored the oppression by the Sri Lankan government against Tamils in the island country.

Home Ministry and Immigration officials raided the screening and had arrested Hendry and she was eventually charged for screening the film without the approval of the Film Censorship Board.
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open letter , film , Lena Hendry , charges


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