Demand to drop charges against Lena Hendry

A human rights activist was charged at the magistrate’s court in Kuala Lumpur on September 19th 2013 with the screening of documentary”No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”, on the alleged atrocities by the Sri Lankan army and government during the country’s civil war.

Lena Hendry, 28, a programme coordinator for a human rights NGO Pusat Komas, claimed trial to screening the film “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Jalan Maharajalela, at 9pm on July 3, 2013 and is being charged for an offence under the Film Censorship Act 2002. If convicted, she is liable to a maximum fine of RM30,000 or three years jail.

Hendry was arrested with two other coordinators, Anna Har and Arul Prakash, during a raid by the Home Ministry at the screening of the documentary with Hendry the first to be produced in court.

We strongly criticize the Malaysian government for the arrest and trial of Lena Hendry together with Anna Har and Arul Prakash from Pusat Komas NGO. The charging of Lena Hendry in September 2013 by the Malaysia government is seen as an effort to limit access to information and alternative views particularly those highlighting human rights violations and alternative perspectives. This violates individual and civil society and public rights to information, freedom of expression and opinion.

This incident shows that the Malaysian government is biased towards the current Sri Lankan government and President Rajapakshe due to obvious business interest between countries. Although countless evidence has been presented connecting President Rajapakshe with crimes against humanity, Malaysia together with other world leaders has continued their support for the regime.

Therefore, call upon the government to act on the followings:
– Call on the Malaysian Government to immediately and unconditionally drop the criminal charges against Lena Hendry.
– 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.
– Call on the Malaysian government to recognize, promote and respect human rights, including those contained in the UN Human Rights Defenders Declaration
In addition to that, we also demand Malaysian government to stop all trades with Sri Lankan government and discontinue to support the Rajapakshe regime and recognize the suffering of hundreds of thousands of poor Tamils and Sinhala in Sri Lanka.

*We urge trade unions, workers organizations, students, community groups and others to send the protest letter or message to the Prime Minister Department of Malaysia to the below given address.
YAB Dato’ Sri MohdNajib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Prime Minister’s Office
Blok Utama, Bangunan Perdana Putra
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62502 Putrajaya

Tel: 603 – 8888 8000
Fax: 603 – 8888 3444




Yuva, Tamil Solidarity Malaysia