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POSTED AT 03:06 PM 14-12-2017

Activist withdraws appeal on airing Sri Lanka war documentary

Malaysian human rights activist Lena Hendry has withdrawn her appeal over her conviction for airing an uncensored documentary on the Sri Lankan civil war in 2013.

In a message to reporters after the High Court struck out her appeal, the former Pusat Komas programme director said she decided not to pursue it as she had lost faith in the judiciary.

“The charge should not be brought against me at all, and prosecuting me under censorship laws was done in bad faith,” she said, adding that she would rather fight for another cause.

Her message was read out by Pusat Komas accounts manager Faribel Maglin.

Lena is currently doing her master’s degree in applied human rights in England.

Earlier in court, her lawyer New Sin Yew told Justice Mohd Sofian Abd Razak that they had written to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to withdraw her appeal on the conviction under Section 6(1)(b) of the Film Censorship Act, and RM10,000 fine imposed by the Magistrate’s Court in March.

“We withdraw our appeals on condition that the deputy public prosecutors also withdraw their appeal against the RM10,000 fine,” he said.

Deputy public prosecutor Zalina Awang told the court the AGC had agreed to withdraw its appeal after examining Lena’s case.

New said Lena had decided not to pursue the case as she did not want a criminal charge hanging over her while she was studying.

“She made a decision to move on as it would be time-consuming if the appeal proceeds.

“There may be a likelihood of increased fine or sentence,” he added.

The Magistrate’s Court fined Lena RM10,000 on March 22 after finding her guilty of airing “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”, a documentary on the Sri Lankan civil war which lasted for 26 years.

She committed the offence at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce Hall on July 3, 2013.

Lena paid the fine and was initially freed from the film censorship charge in the Magistrate’s Court at the end of the prosecution’s case last March.

However, the High Court overturned the acquittal and ordered Lena to enter defence for her charge.

Source: Free Malaysia Today