Malaysian colleague Lena Hendry charged for screening No Fire Zone
Lena Hendry was charged for an offence under the Film Censorship Act 2002, in connection with the screening of a film that was not vetted and approved by the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia. The film "No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka" is a shocking documentary about the bloody denouement of the Sri Lankan war, which has raged for over twenty five years. The film provides overwhelming evidence for the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Sri Lankan army against the Tamil population during the civil war that spread death and destruction in the spring of 2009.
The film screening took place at a human rights event in Kuala Lumpur on 9 July 2013. The case against Lena Hendry is unique, as she is the "first human rights activist charged in Malaysia for screening a film", as she states in this video.
She is charged under Section 6 of the Act that makes it an offence to, amongst others, to produce, manufacture, have in one’s possession, circulate, distribute and display such film or film-publicity material which has not been approved by the Board. If convicted, she faces the sentence of a fine of between 1,200 and 7,000 euros or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.
Mrs. Hendry is in charge of the FreedomFilmFestival (FFF), Malaysia’s most established annual human rights film festival. Established in 2003, the festival focuses on the themes of democracy, equality and good governance. It seeks to be a platform for filmmakers and activists especially in the South East Asia region and beyond to showcase their films and exchange experiences. Since 2012 FreedomFilmFest is a member of the Human Rights Film Network.
You are encouraged to sign the petition at this page, where you can also find more information about the case.