Activist guilty of screening unapproved war documentary
Posted on February 21st, 2017

BY M. MAGESWARI Courtesy The Star on line

KUALA LUMPUR: Activist Lena Hendry was convicted by a magistrate’s court for screening a Sri Lankan civil war documentary that had not been approved by the Censorship Board.

Hendry, 32, who stood expressionless in the dock upon hearing the verdict, later said she was disappointed with the judgment.

Her sentencing is scheduled for March 22, and she is currently out on bail.

We will definitely appeal,” Hendry, who was accompanied by her lawyer New Sin Yew, said.

Hendry, who was also the programme coordinator for human rights group Pusat Komas, claimed trial in a magistrate’s court on Sept 19, 2013, to illegally screening the documentary No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka.

After the judgment yesterday, well-wishers, friends and supporters surrounded, hugged and consoled her.

One supporter was holding a placard that read: Human Rights Documentaries are not dangerous.”

Among those present for Hendry in the public gallery was Ivy Josiah, who is Hakam’s (National Human Rights Society) exco member and former executive director of Women Aid Organisation.

A disappointed Josiah said the film had been shown everywhere in the world”.

In his judgment, magistrate Mohd Rehan Mohd Aris ruled that the defence had failed to raise a reasonable doubt in the case.

The accused is found guilty,” he told the packed courtroom.

The same magistrate had on March 10, last year, acquitted Hendry at the end of the prosecution’s case.

On Sept 21, last year, the High Court set aside the acquittal following an appeal by the prosecution and ordered her to enter her defence.

Judicial Commissioner Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah found that there was a prima facie case against Hendry.

Eight prosecution witnesses and three defence witnesses, including Hendry, had given sworn evidence in the trial.

The film, which was directed by British national Callum Macrae, explores the alleged oppression of Tamils in Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan government.

Hendry committed the offence at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall at Jalan Maharajalela here at 9pm on July 3, 2013.

The charge under Section 6(1)(b) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 carries a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to RM30,000 or both upon conviction.

DPP Nurakmal Farhan Aziz represented the prosecution.

2 Responses to “Activist guilty of screening unapproved war documentary”

  1. Christie Says:

    Indian Colonial Parasites are the same thy world over. They will do what ever possible to destroy their subjects.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    TRUE Kithsiri.

    “Endian colonial parasites” have been left behind in Malaysia too.

    SL-Malaysia-Burma-Endia should come to an agreement to DEPORT all of them to Endia.

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