On Sept 19, 2013, Human Rights Defender Lena Hendry was charged in the Malaysian courts in connection with the screening of a HR documentary at a human rights event. The offence is under the Film Censorship Act 2002 allegedly because the video was not submitted to and approved by the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia. No to pre-censorship of films and videos
Sunday, 27 October 2013
Boycott CHOGM, drop charges against Lena (SunDaily)
Boycott CHOGM, drop charges against Lena
Posted on 22 October 2013 - 07:55pm
WHILE the Canadian government has decided to boycott
next month's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri
Lanka over human rights concerns, the Malaysian government chooses to
charge a human rights activist for screening a documentary on Sri
Lena Hendry has been charged under the Film Censorship Act for
organising a screening of No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka,
an award-winning documentary about alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan
government during the final months of the civil war in 2009. Hendry
faces up to three years in prison and a fine of RM9,500.
UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay has expressed grave concern
about the lack of accountability, unresolved enforced disappearances,
and decreasing fundamental freedoms. After a visit to Sri Lanka, she
noted the country's worrying "authoritarian turn" and the government's
failure to independently or credibly investigate the allegations of war
crimes during the armed conflict.
The British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in its report
"Role and Future of the Commonwealth" has sharply criticised the
decision to hold the CHOGM in Sri Lanka, and has called upon Prime
Minister David Cameron to boycott the meeting.
Besides the Sri Lanka's human rights record, the impeachment of Sri
Lankan Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranaike has been found to be
unconstitutional, a "direct violation" of the rule of law and
contravened Commonwealth values and principles.
As a sponsor of the World Moderate Movement, the government should
lead by boycotting CHOGM and hold the Sri Lankan government responsible
for war crimes during the country's civil war. The authorities should
drop charges against Lena Hendry.