Human Rights Defender Lena Hendry have been acquitted by the court, without Defence being called.
HRD Lena Hendry - 10/3/2016 - Court decides on ACQUITAL or Enter Your Defence - call your witnesses?
This provision need to repealed...
FILM CENSORSHIP ACT 2002
Section 6 Unapproved film or film-publicity material.
(1) No person shall-
(a) have in his possession or in his custody or under his control; orany film or film-publicity material which has not been approved by the Board.
(b) circulate, exhibit, distribute, display, manufacture, produce, sell or hire,
For a deeper look at the law, see the relevant sections in Malaysian law that was used. To see the Charge and sentence if convicted, follow the links.
Lena Hendry may be acquitted, but for so long as this draconian law exists, which also goes against the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, it can be abused and used to silence HRDs.
What is more interesting, is that Malaysia on 26/11/2015, things changed for Malaysia, when it together with 116 Member States voted yes on the resolution, entitled “Recognizing the role of human rights defenders and the need for their protection,” In so doing, Malaysia also automatically accepted United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (commonly known as the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders). See
AG Apandi Ali, proceeding with HR Defender Lena Hendry's trial after 26/11/2015 inconsistent with Malaysia's new position?
As such, Malaysia must repeal this law/provision and all other laws that are inconsistent with Malaysia's publicly declared position in accepting the principles contained in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders..
The struggle continues...
Activist acquitted over Sri Lanka killing fields screening
"The magistrate has found that the prosecution has failed to prove a prima facie case against her (Hendry) and has therefore acquitted her," Hendry's lawyer New Sin Yew said when met by reporters outside the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court after the decision was delivered today.
She was charged in September 2013 for allegedly screening 'No Fire Zone', a documentary on the Sri Lankan civil war, which had not been approved by the Censorship Board, and the trial started in December last year.
Under Section 6(1)(b) of Film Censorship Act, 2002, she would face up to three years’ jail or a fine not exceeding RM30,000, if convicted.
She was acccused of committing the offence at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commmerce Hall at Jalan Maharajalela in Kuala Lumpur at 9pm on July 3, 2013.
Expressing her relief and happiness, Hendry also reiterated that she should not have been charged in the first place as it was "a waste of time" for everyone involved.
"The government should stop doing this (charging activists) and let us do our work how we want to do it, so that things like this don't happen to others," she said.
In a separate statement today, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson commended the decision, saying that justice had finally been done.
"This was a politically motivated case that should never have been prosecuted in the first place, and was a blatant infringement on the right to freedom of expression," he said in the statement.
Instead of films being censored or banned, he said it was the strict limits of the Censorship Board that should be "snipped". - Malaysiakini, 10/3/2016
Magistrates court acquits and discharges activist Lena Hendry
Activist acquitted of screening controversial Sri Lankan film
The British-made documentary explores the alleged oppression of Tamils by the Sri Lankan government.
In acquitting Lena Hendry, Magistrate Mohd Rehan Mohd said the prosecution failed to show a prima facie case against her.
Hendry's lawyer, New Sin Yew, said he was grateful that the court agreed with their argument.
“We have been maintaining since the first day that the charge against her is frivolous as it has no basis,” said New.
Hendry was seen beaming with joy as she made her way out of the court.
“I am happy that the court dropped the case as it has been long journey. They should not have charged me. It has been such a waste of time for the court and us," Hendry told reporters on Thursday.
Eight prosecution witnesses were called throughout the five day trial which began in December last year until January.
Hendry claimed trial in a Magistrate’s court on Sept 19, 2013 to illegally screening “No Fire Zone”.
She was charged under Section 6(1)(b) of Film Censorship Act, 2002 which carries up to three years’ jail or a fine not exceeding RM30,000, if convicted.
Hendry filed the application at the High Court registry to quash the charge on Nov 25, 2014.
On July 3, 2013, Hendry and two other Pusat Komas activists – Anna Har and Arul Prakkash – were arrested in a raid by the Home Ministry when they tried to screen the controversial documentary. - Star, 10/3/2016