Activist discharged, acquitted over Sri Lankan civil war documentary screening

KUALA LUMPUR: Activist Lena Hendry Rasathi Hendry was freed by the magistrate’s court without having her defence called over her uncensored Sri Lanka genocide documentary screening three years ago.

In delivering his verdict, magistrate Mohd Rehan Mohd Aris said the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the accused. “After considering the evidence presented before the court during trial, the court finds that the prosecution failed to prove its case. The accused is therefore acquitted and discharged,” he said.

A total of eight prosecution witnesses were called to the stand to testify in the five-day trial. Lena, who was also Community Communication Centre (Komas) programme coordinator, was charged on Sept 19, 2013 with screening an uncensored film, ‘No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ 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 if convicted.

When met outside the court, Lena said she was happy with the decision. “It has been a long journey as this case had been going on for two and a half years.

In the first place, they should not have charged me,” she said. Her lawyer New Sin Yew said the charge against his client was frivolous and of no basis. Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Farith Muhammad Faizal prosecuted.

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