Monday, 2 December 2013

Activist: Charge over film's screening unconstitutional (Star, 26/11/2013)

Tuesday November 26, 2013 MYT 7:05:00 AM

Activist: Charge over film's screening unconstitutional

KUALA LUMPUR: A human rights activist prosecuted for screening a controversial documentary without the Film Censorship Board’s approval has applied to dismiss the case, claiming that the charge is unconstitutional. 

Pusat Komas programme coordinator Lena Hendry, 28, filed an application to the High Court registrar here to strike out the charge on the grounds that it contradicted Articles 8 and 10 of the Federal Constitution.

The application argued that the charge under the Film Censorship Act was unreasonable and disproportionate as it suppressed freedom of speech.

Her counsel New Sim Yew applied to the magistrate yesterday to have the proceedings in the lower court stayed pending the disposal of the application in the High Court.

But magistrate Ashraf Rezal Abdul Manan denied the stay, ruling that he required an order from the High Court to do so.

“As long as there is no order, it is my duty to ensure the case continues quickly and smoothly,” he said.
He added that a trial date could be set for several months from now to allow the matter to be resolved in High Court.

DPP Ooi Chean Ling did not object.

On Sep 19, Lena claimed trial to screening the documentary titled No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, which the board had not approved for distribution or exhibition, at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall at about 9pm on July 3.

The film, directed by British national Callum Macrae, explores the oppression by the Sri Lankan government against Tamils during the Sri Lankan civil war.- Star, 26/11/2013, Activist: Charge over film's screening unconstitutional

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