Global film community urges Malaysian authorities to drop all investigations and acts of intimidation on FreedomFilmFest
The Human Rights Film Network and other film festivals around the world call upon the authorities of Malaysia to immediately and unconditionally drop all investigations and acts of intimidation on Anna Har, the director of FreedomFilmFest, Malaysia, Amin Landak, cartoonist, and all individuals related to the production and screening of an short animated film on police torture entitled, “Chili Powder and Thinner”.
Forum Asia, Amnesty Malaysia, Civicus and the Centre for Independent Journalism, among others, also condemned the investigations. They also called to stop the intimidations and drop the investigations.
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Text of the open letter:
We, the undersigned representatives of the Human Rights Film Network and film festivals from around the world, call upon the authorities of Malaysia to immediately and unconditionally drop all investigations and acts of intimidation on Anna Har, the director of FreedomFilmFest, Malaysia, Amin Landak, cartoonist, and all individuals related to the production and screening of an short animated film on police torture entitled, “Chili Powder and Thinner”.
On 2nd July, Anna Har, the festival director of the FREEDOMFILMFEST, and cartoonist Amin Landak were called in for questioning by the police over the production and an online screening of the above-mentioned film. On the same day, the police raided the office of FreedomFilmFest and Amin’s home, and confiscated computers, modems and other related equipment. Subsequently, on 6 July, four more activists were called in for questioning. Three of them are members of SUARAM, a human rights organisation that co-produced the film, and the other was a guest speaker at the screening event.
Anna and Amin are now being investigated and possibly charged for defamation; committing a criminal offence for publishing materials that is likely to cause fear or alarm to the public; as well as improper use of network facilities or network service.
We are in the view that this is a form of intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders, including filmmakers, artists and storytellers who are merely highlighting human rights abuses and it is inconsistent with international standards of the freedom of expression.
We the undersigned, stand in solidarity with Anna, Amin and the other human rights activists that are being investigated in this case, and we urge the authorities not to bring any charges against them.
Investigate the issue, not the messenger. #standwithFFN #FreeFreedomFilmFest
Human Rights Film Network
1905 International Human Rights Film Festival, Hong Kong
ACT Human Rights Film Festival
Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival, Philippines
Bergen International Film Festival
Censurados Film Festival, Peru
Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Ukraine
Document Film Festival, Scotland
Festival de Cine y Derechos Humanos, San Sebastian
Festival del Cinema dei Diritti Umani di Napoli
Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains (FIFDH), Switzerland
Festival Internacional de Cine de Derechos Humanos, Argentina
FiSahara (Western Sahara International Film Festival)
Human International Documentary Film Festival, Oslo
Human Rights Nights, Italy
International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival "Inconvenient Films”, Lithuania
International Human Rights Film Festival in Albania
Karama Beirut Human Rights Film Festival
MOVE IT! Filmfestival, Germany
Movies that Matter Festival, Netherlands
Muestra de Cine Internacional Memoria Verdad Justicia / International Film Festival Memory Truth Justice, Guatemala
Muestra de Cine Social y Derechos Humanos de Asturies (MUSOC), Spain
Nepal Human Rights Film Festival
Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival
One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Czech Republic
Red Carpet Human Rights Film Festival, Palestine
WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film International Film Festival, Poland
WATCH DOCS Belarus, Belarus
Vermont International Film Festival, USA