|Photograph: Protest outside the Malaysian High Commission in London. Courtesy of Sri Lankan Campaign.|
Protests were held internationally in support of Lena Hendry this week – an activist who was convicted in Malaysia for screening “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” without the approval of the Malaysian ensorship Board.
A press release issued by International Friends of Lena Hendry, stated that protests were held internationally at various Malaysian embassies such as in London and Zurich on March 9th and in Colombo earlier today.
|Photograph: Protest outside the Malaysian High Commission in Zurich. Courtesy of Sri Lankan Campaign.|
Hendry is being charged with provisions under the Film Censorship Act which prohibits, “circulation, distribution, display, production, sale, [or] hire” of any film without the permission of the Board of Censors.
|Photograph: Protest outside the Malaysian High Commission in Colombo. Courtesy of @Mari_deSilva|
'No Fire Zone' is a Channel 4 documentary that examines the human rights abuses committed in the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war.
“This film has been shown around the world, in cinemas and venues including the UN and the European parliament. Extracts have been shown in several parliaments including Westminster and the Malaysian parliament itself. The idea that Lena - this brave Human Rights defender - is facing jail for screening this film is a grotesque denial of free speech which brings shame on Malaysia. That this case appears to have been initiated at the behest of a Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has now been removed by the democratic vote of the Sri Lankan people, makes the continuing persecution of Lena even more disturbing,” said Callum Macrae, the director of the film.
The press release states that Hendry is due to be sentenced on March 22nd – she potentially faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail and/or a fine.