Date: 24th February 2016
Place: Majistret Criminal Court 6, Left Wing, 2nd Floor, Duta Court Complex, Kuala Lumpur.
Lena Hendry was charged in September 2013 for allegedly screening an award winning human rights documentary called No Fire Zone. She was charged under section 6 of the 2002 Censorship Act which says;
(1) No person shall-
(a) have in his possession or in his custody or under his control; or
(b) circulate, exhibit, distribute, display, manufacture, produce, sell or hire,
any film or film-publicity material which has not been approved by the Board.
If convicted, she faces fine up to RM 30 000 or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years.The magistrate will be deciding tomorrow whether the prosecution have provided enough evidence and established prima facie against Lena to call for defense.
More information of the case can be obtained at http://www.komas.org/
See earlier posts: -
We, the 116 undersigned civil society groups, trade unions and organizations are shocked that the Malaysian government, after the recent General Election has resorted to charging human rights defender Lena Hendry on 19 September 2013 for being involved in the screening of a documentary "No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka" at a human rights event in Kuala Lumpur on 9 July 2013.
The Act is also discriminatory as it does not apply, amongst others, to “...any film sponsored by the Federal Government or the Government of any State...”. The government does not need to obtain approval from the Censorship Board, but everyone else is expected to do so.
In Reporters Without Borders’ 2013 World Press Freedom Index, Malaysia has fallen to its lowest-ever position because of the decreasing access to information. Malaysia embarrassingly dropped 23 places, and now ranks 145 out of 179.
b) Call for the repeal of provisions in the Film Censorship Act 2002 that obligates persons to seek approval of the government vis-à-vis the Film Censorship Board before a film, videotape, diskette, laser disc, compact disc, hard disc and other record of a sequence of visual images can be used;
c) Call on the Malaysian government to recognize, promote and respect human rights, including those contained in the UN Human Rights Defenders Declaration