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‘No Fire Zone’ documentary banned in India

The documentary ‘No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ has been banned from theatrical release in India, after it was refused a censorship certificate on grounds that it may strain relations with Sri Lanka.

Indian authorities refused to certify the film stating that it “may strain friendly relations with Sri Lanka”.

The decision was slammed by the producers of the award winning documentary, who labelled it “political censorship of unpalatable truths”.

In response, they have released the film for free online in India, with Hindi subtitles. It can viewed from Sunday the 23rd of February 2014 at http://nofirezone.org/watch.

Reacting to the developments, director Callum Macrae, who was also refused a visa by Indian authorities last year, stated,

“I find it very disturbing that a country whose independent history is rooted in the struggle for democratic rights and free speech should have taken what is, in effect, an act of overt political censorship”.

The move by Indian authorities follows similar bans or raids on film screenings in Malaysia, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The film has been made available to view for free online in all of those countries.

Commenting on what has been described as a “concerted campaign by the Sri Lankan government” Macrae said,

"While telling the world that it is investigating the allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity  – the Sri Lankan government is in practice mounting an international campaign to deny the truth and silence the witnesses.”

“As national delegations prepare to meet in Geneva for the UN Human Rights Council – which will hear calls for the setting up of an international Commission of Inquiry into all the crimes committed in the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka – we hope making the film available in India, Malaysia, Nepal and Sri Lanka will stimulate debate on these vital issues.”

Read the full press release here.