Media statement by M. Kula Segaran MP Ipoh Barat and DAP National Vice Chairman in Ipoh on 25th February 2017
The charges against Lena Hendry uncalled for
The conviction of Pusat Komas program coordinator Lena Hendry on 21st February 2017 for her role in screening of the documentary on the Sri Lankan civil war leaves a bad taste ofour judicial approach to justice that tends to
curtailed truth about the atrocities by the Sri Lankan Army in the last days of its civilwar. This happens in the context where citizens around the world have access to all kinds of media that would make censorship of reality and truth foolish and incomprehensible. The UN acting regional representative, Laurent Meillan of SouthEast Asia has express concern, by stating that Lena Hendry’s conviction of showing a film is a clear violation of her freedom of expression and assembly, and as urge the Malaysian authorities to reexamine the case in line with international human rights law. As one analyse the manner how justice has been meted out in this case it reveals a wider ramification of how the Malaysian authorities would react to atrocities, especially if does not involved people who are not part of its ethno religious mould and how it approaches justice when it has strong ties with countries that commit atrocities.
The above documentary "No Fire Zone" documentary is easily available on the net. It was even screened in Parliament Malaysia for the MPs to watch
Double vision of Justice
Malaysia being part of Global system that has condemned atrocities in places like Palestine, Bosnia and lately on the faith of rohingyas in Myammar should not be selective in its comprehension of justice, by charging a Human rights advocate who merely attempted to expose a crime against humanity that is beyond borders. Why is there double standards when it comes to wellbeing of the oppress Tamil community in Sri Lanka? Is because they are not Muslims?
International Phenomenon of War Crimes
The 96 minute documentary directed by Callum Macrae which tells the story of the final months of the 26 year old long Sri Lankan civil war is an international phenomenon, a product of a three year investigation. The content of documentary is beyond the political issues of warring parties in the conflict whether it is the Sri Lanka Government of the LTTE. It shows footage of direct evidence of war crimes, summary execution, torture and sexual violence against women and captured soldiers. It is basically an objective account of the war which shows the suffering and torture of the most vulnerable Human Beings .The documentary by itself is no secret to the International audience. It has been credited with playing a key role in convincing United Nations human rights council in March 2014 to launch a major international war crimes investigation into the events in closing stages of the war.
Porous information outlets in the Globalised world
The conviction of Lena Hendry does not make sense in world of information where atrocities in any parts of the world could be instantly access through various media outlets or mobile phone. The pertinent fact is the documentary is not own by Lena Henry, therefore the charges does not hold under section 6 of the film censorship act, unless the Government is going act against all citizens who have documentaries that shows atrocities around the world, in their mobile phones, that could be easily disseminated .Besides this the documentary was only screened to selective audience. The Malaysian Government who is elected by its citizens should respect the freedom of its citizens to be in solidarity with oppressed communities around the world. I believe Lena Henry would not have been charge by an archaic law such the film censorship act if she would have screened Israel atrocities in Palestine.