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Malaysian activist acquitted over No Fire Zone screening

Malaysian activist Lena Hendry was acquitted of censorship charges in relation to a screening of the No Fire Zone documentary which she organised.

Magistrate Mohd Rehab Mohd Aris said that the prosecution failed to establish a “prima facie” case against Ms Hendry and thus she need not enter her defence, the Malay Mail reported.

The activist could have been jailed for up to three years on charges under Section 6(1)(b) of the Malaysian  Film Censorship Act 2002 for screening the No Fire Zone documentary without the approval from the Censorship Board.

Her lawyer New Sin Yew was grateful that the court agreed with their arguments against what he described as a “frivolous” charge.

Ms Hendry also said that the charge was a “waste of time” for the courts and everyone involved.

“They should allow human rights defenders like us to do our jobs,” she said.

Human Rights Watch deputy director (Asia) Phil Robertson said “justice was done” in the acquittal.

“This was a politically motivated case that should never have been prosecuted in the first place, and a blatant infringement on the right to freedom of expression,” he said in a statement.