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Pressure against screening of documentary in a Film Festival Nepal

The organizers of a film festival in Nepal have been pressed not to screen Sri Lankan documentaries in the festival that kicked off in the capital city Kathmandu on October 3, 2013.

Film Southasia, a festival of documentaries from seven South Asian countries began but the pressure came from Sri Lankan government, writes a national daily of Nepal, 'Kantipur' quoting the Chairman of Film Southasia, Kanak Mani Dixit as saying.

To this, Freedom Forum expresses concern, for the freedom of expression is a frontier-less issue.

It is worth mentioning here that Article 19 (b) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states, "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art or any other media of his choice."

Freedom Forum expresses solidarity to this provision of the ICCPR and urges Sri Lanka not to press Nepali authority to ban the screening of the film.

Similarly, a national daily, Kathmandu Post writes, "FSA protests this unwarranted intrusion into the cultural sphere, an action that goes against the freedom of expression and the right of documentary filmmakers to exhibit their work,” Dixit said.

According to the organizers, the Ministry of Information and Communications in Nepal issued directive to them not to show the documentary.

The films the Sri Lankan government wanted to ban screening are "Broken" and "The Story of One" directed by Kannan Arunasalam and "No Fire Zone" by Callum Macrae.

These films document the civil war and the atrocities during the conflict in Sri Lanka.

Freedom Forum urges the Nepali authority and Sri Lankan government too to respect international standard of the freedom of expression and right to information and instill democratic culture.

For More Information
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np
Email: info@freedomforum.org.np; monitoring@freedomforum.org.np