No Fire Zone

“Shocking” —The Guardian

“Vitally Important” —Empire

“An absolute must see” —Nepali Times

“A Tour de Force” —Movies That Matter

—Time Out

“Utterly Convincing” —Toronto Globe and Mail

—Faded Glamour

“Haunting, disturbing…unforgettable” - Right Now, Australia

“Beautifully crafted and heart-wrenching” —Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting

—London Film Review

“Devastating” —Hoopla Australia

“Will break your heart” —Toronto Film Scene

“Shocks on every level” —The London Film Review

“Essential viewing” —Time Out UK

“One of the most chilling documentaries I’ve watched” — David Cameron, UK Prime Minister

“The only film that gives me faith in journalism” - M.I.A, musician and artist

“Images sufficiently graphic to give you nightmares – but sometimes it takes a nightmare to wake us up”—Now Magazine

Latest News from No Fire Zone

Welcome to our latest news page.

22nd February 2017

Lena Hendry Urgent Update


Dear Friends

As many of you will know, Lena Hendry is a Human Rights Defender from Malaysia who has for more than three years been fighting a prosecution brought by the Malaysian authorities for screening No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, allegedly without permission from the country’s Censorship Board.

The letter below explains the background to this disgraceful case.

Yesterday, Tuesday 21st, Lena was found guilty and faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail and/or a maximum fine of 30,000 Malaysian Ringgit (£5400/$6700). Sentence is due to be passed on the 22nd of March.

We have very little time to make abundantly clear to the authorities in Malaysia that we regard the use of this draconian law to deny freedom of speech and persecute Lena as completely unacceptable and extremely damaging to Malaysia’s international reputation.

We are asking people to tweet about the letter including this link: Defend Lena Please include the ftwitter accounts of the Malaysian Attorney General, @AGCPutrajaya the Minister of Home Affairs @Zahid_Hamidi and the Prime Minister @NajibRazak Please also include the hashtag #DefendLena

Please also share this on social media such as Facebook - and if possible print it out and send it individually to the people listed on the letter. You may prefer to put the letter as a link on your own website which can also be used on twitter.

Please circulate the letter to as many friends and groups as possible. The link is here: Lena Letter

May 2016

THE SEVENTH MULLIVIAKKAL COMMEMORATION


The 18th of May is a day for remembrance and commemoration, but it is also a time for reminding the world that this terrible story is not over.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s recent acknowledgement of the authenticity of the terrible footage shown on Channel 4 and No Fire Zone does represent progress towards admitting the truth.

It should be welcomed - but it also has to be balanced against the conflicting messages emerging from other sections of the Sirisena government - and the behaviour of Sri Lankan state forces.

Too many people internationally are falling silent in the face of ongoing reports of torture and repression Sri Lanka. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that cynical geo-strategic considerations are triumphing over the need for truth, justice and political solutions.

Last month the US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power – a woman who should know better – astonished informed Sri Lanka watchers by stating: “Sri Lanka has, since January 2015, emerged as a global champion of human rights and democratic accountability.”

Her comments were left looking pretty exposed when, a week later, the UN rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Mendez, warned that torture is still being used by Sri Lanka's criminal and terrorism investigators. And then a week after that, UN special rapporteur Monica Pinto warned that “war machinery” is still in place, that Tamils are largely excluded from the judiciary and that “the legal framework that allowed serious human rights violations to happen” needs to be replaced.

In saying that, these important UN figures were repeating what local people in the North and East have been saying all along. Torture, extra-judicial kidnappings and sexual violence continue. Most seized land has not been returned and under the guise of “development” further land is being commandeered.Thousands of disappeared are still unaccounted for.

And those observations don’t just come people in the North and East, or UN officials.They also confirm the carefully evidenced findings of reputable bodies like the International Truth and Justice Project, Freedom for Torture, Pearl and the Oakland Institute.

The 18th of May 2009 was not just the apogee of a terrible crime against the Tamils, it also represented the awful conclusion of one of the most catastrophic and tragic failures of the international community.That “community” must not be allowed to look away again. Truth and justice must prevail over the past – and the Sirisena government must be called to account over the present.

This is in everyone’s interest. All the communities of Sri Lanka have suffered the consequences of state impunity over previous decades. No-one has anything to fear from the truth except the guilty. Justice, political solutions and the reconciliation which can follow,are in everyone’s interest.

May 2016

Malaysian authorities renew judicial harrassment of Human Rights Defender Lena Hendry despite acquittal


Last month we were all delighted and relieved when our friend, Malaysian Human Rights activist Lena Hendry, was acquitted of charges of breaching Malaysia’s draconian censorship laws which state that it is illegal for anyone to possess, distribute or show a film which has not been approved by the country’s censorship board. Lena was charged after a screening of No Fire Zone in Malaysia.


After three years, she was finally acquitted in March. Astonishingly it now seems that the Malaysian authorities are appealing against the acquittal and Lena could once again face a maximum sentence of three years in jail and/or a maximum fine of 30,000 Malaysian Ringgit (£4700/$7000).

Please join the protests. Tweet to the Malaysian Prime Minister @NajibRazak and the Attorney General @AGCPutrajaya calling for the disgraceful charges against Lena to be dropped and please also tweet your messages of support to Lena @LenaRH




April 2016

As the search for truth and justice in Sri Lanka stalls the need for International pressure is greater than ever.

As we approach important events including the 18th May Mullivaikkal commemorations and the June oral report to the UN Human Rights Council on “progress” in the search for truth, justice and political solutions, we wanted to remind everyone of the resources we have available via our website - and stress that we can all play a part in keeping these issues on the international agenda.

Recent events have increased concern over the significant gulf between the promises made by the Sirisena government – particularly to the international community – and the reality on the ground. The notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act remains in place, despite pledges to remove it – and its use is increasing.

A recent spate of arrests and “white van” style extra-judicial detentions is causing fear and concern in the North and East and seriously undermining the claims of the government to be addressing issues of truth, justice and reconciliation.

And at the same time – despite promises to reintroduce a free press –journalists who speak out are being silenced. Three days ago Subramaniyam Sivakaran, a Tamil activist and journalist from the North-East criticised the PTA and the detention of Tamils under the act. Yesterday he was arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Department. Tamil Guardian article

As our friends at PEARL have recently pointed out Sri Lanka’s lack of progress on key issues such as accountability and demilitarization “throws into question the government’s sincerity and political will to implement the pledges it has made.” PEARL’s excellent report can be seen here


In a disturbing parallel with the previous Rajapaksa regime, the Sirisena government continues to say one thing to the international community while acting in a very different way at home. President Sirisena recently denied that there were any war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka and insisted: “Sri Lankan government forces always acted in adherence to international law.” These denials are reported in an Al Jazeera interview with President Sirisena . Little wonder then that Tamils – and human rights advocates around the world - have little faith in a purely “domestic” judicial process when the president himself appears to have prejudged its conclusion.

As the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said:
"A purely domestic court procedure will have no chance of overcoming widespread and justifiable suspicions fuelled by decades of violations, malpractice and broken promises."
These comments can be viewed on the OHCHR website

Meanwhile the appointment to parliament – and then ministerial office - of former army chief, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, man likely to be a key accused in any serious judicial process, has been met with incredulity and horror in equal measure. Read the comments of Human Rights Watch here

And two carefully evidenced and corroborated reports have revealed that extra-judical abductions and torture have continued not just since the end of the war, but since the arrival of the Sirisena government. These reports are Silenced: Survivors of torture and sexual violence in 2015 and Freedom from torture blog

It is clear that although there has been some progress, there are also increasing grounds for concern. There are those who want to use the Sirisena government’s partial tilt away from China and towards the West and India as an excuse to lift the pressure for genuine change and political progress.

The international community failed the Tamils of the North and East before. It must not do so again. Truth. Justice and political solutions are in the interests of all the communities of Sri Lanka.


NO FIRE ZONE RESOURCES

THE TRAILER
The full No Fire Zone documentary trailer can be viewed and downloaded

THE ADVOCACY FILM: “SRI LANKA: THE SEARCH FOR JUSTICE”
Our most recent half hour film – prepared in advance of the HRC meeting last September is available free for both streaming and downloading on our website. It is a powerful and effective tool for use as an introduction to the issues at meetings and debates.

Please feel free to download it, show it, upload it on you social media pages and tell others about it. Arrange a screening at your school, workplace, place of worship or just in your house.
Don’t forget to warn people that it is harrowing and difficult to watch – but that the truth and the evidence it contains need to be known.
It is available, completely free, in English, French, Spanish and Korean.

THE FULL LENGTH FEATURE FILM: NO FIRE ZONE: THE KILLING FIELDS OF SRI LANKA
The full length film is available in several languages and forms.

DEFY THE BAN!
Following attempts to ban No Fire Zone in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Malaysia, we have made it available, free, online in those countries in
Hindi
Sinhala
For the background to the Defy the Ban campaign please go to Defy the ban

WATCH THE FILM
The full length updated version of No Fire Zone is available on Vimeo on Demand (pay per view). Links to the current language versions are below.
English
Spanish
French

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THE FILM IS AVAILABLE FREE TO WATCH, STREAM AND DOWNLOAD IN SINHALA
Sinhala version
…and it will soon be available dubbed in Tamil

ORGANISE A SCREENING
If you would like to organise a screening of the full documentary for a public audience, please get in touch with us via the NoFireZone Website


GET YOUR UNIVERSITY LIBRARY TO GET A COPY!
Getting a copy of the film into your university or academic library is very important. We need to make sure that academics and students – whether in politics, history, international diplomacy, law or human rights - know what happened. Please get your university or college to order the film through our educational distributors Film Platform




Malaysian human rights defender Lena Hendry in court for showing No Fire Zone.

Please help to persuade the Malaysian government to drop the charges against her by signing the online petition here

Petition to drop charges against Lena Hendry

Stop Press

New high profile signatures to the open letter calling for the Malaysian Government to drop charges against Lena Hendry

Nandita Das, Leading Indian actress

Raza Rumi, scholar in residence, Ithaca College, USA

Nimmi Gowrinathan Writer: Visiting Professor, CCNY -- Director, Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative

Florencia Santucho, Directora Festival Internacional de Cine de Derechos Humanos, Argentina

Read the open letter to the Malaysian Government here


In addition to the petition nearly 100 leading film-makers, writers, artists and lawyers from around the world have signed an open letter calling on the Malaysian government to drop charges against a human rights activist whose trial began on Monday 14 December and if found guilty could face up to three years in jail.

Lena Hendry, of the Malaysian human rights NGO Pusat KOMAS, has been charged under Malaysia’s draconian censorship laws for screening the award-winning documentary No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka – a film about human rights abuses at the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war – to an invited audience in July 2013. The screening was raided by 30 officials from the Malaysian Home Ministry, the Police and Immigration officials.

Ms Hendry, who is also Manager of Kuala Lumpur’s Freedom Film Festival, is charged under Malaysia’s Film Censorship law of 2002 which states that it is illegal for anyone to possess, distribute or show a film which has not been approved by the country’s censorship board.

The signatories of the letter, who include many well-known actors, directors and artists, including the rapper M.I.A, Grammy Award winning Angelique Kidjo and leading film directors from the US, India, Malaysia and the UK, including the director of No Fire Zone, Callum Macrae, as well as writers ranging from Naomi Klein to Meena Kandasamy, and actor Greg Wise, accuse the Malaysian authorities of using the law as an act of political censorship.

I’ve attached a press release, along with the letter – addressed to Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, as well as the country’s Home Minister and Attorney General.

Leading filmmakers who signed the open letter include Academy Award winner, Laura Poitras; BAFTA winner, Joshua Oppenheimer; BAFTA fellow, Roger Graef; Emmy Award winner, Joslyn Barnes; Indian filmmaker, Anand Patwardha; Canadian filmmaker, Avi Lewis; Singaporean filmmaker, Tan Tan Pin; and Malaysian filmmaker, Hassan Muthalib.

Film and TV executives supporting the letter include Channel 4 CEO, David Abraham; Channel 4 Head of News and Current Affairs, Dorothy Byrne; Sundance Institute Documentary Program Director, Tabitha Jackson; and BRITDOC CEO, Jess Search.

Acopy of the open letter can be viewed below

Open Letter Regarding Lena Hendry




NO FIRE ZONE SOUTH AMERICAN TOUR

Starting on the 31st of Agust No Fire Zone director Callum Macrae will be touring South America conducting screenings of a newly updated version of No Fire Zone. This tour will take in Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Beazil and Mexico. As well as conducting screenings (details below) he will also be holding meetings with governement officials and prominant human rights activists ahead of the UNCHR meeting in Geneva later this month. Following the South American leg of the tour Callum will be travelling to New York and Washington before flying to Geneva.

Please help us publicise the tour by spreading the word to your social media contacts and tweet using the hastag

#letthembeheard

Screenings

Argentina: 31st August 19:00 Centro Cultural Caras y Caretos Sarmiento 2037, Buenos Aires. Entry free Ticket details here

Paraguay: 1st September 19:00 Museo de las Memorias: Dictadura y Derechos Humanos 1066 Museo y Avda Carlos A. Lopez Asunción 2273 Entry Free ticket details here

Bolivia: 3rd September 17:00 Asamblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos de Bolivia, Av. 6 de Agosto Nº 548. La Paz
Entry detail call +591 233 57 15

Brazil: 5th Spetember 15:00 R. Maria Antônia, 294 - Vila Buarque, São Paulo - SP, 01222-010

Mexico: 8th September Cine Tonalá Tonalá 261, Cuauhtémoc, Roma Sur, 06760 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico
+52 55 5264 4101 Entry Free details here

News From the Tour


July 2015

A Critical time in the campaign for justice. Pledge your support now.

Preparing for the Human Rights Council in September 2015

The campaign for truth and justice in Sri Lanka is at an absolutely critical stage. With unpredictable developments and political uncertainty - and a disturbing climate of equivocation among the international community - it seems to us it has never been more important for a clear, simple and unequivocal message to be put out.

Whichever government is in charge, whatever the political developments, the need for truth and justice remains undiminished.  The victims are looking to the international community - and in particular to the members of the Human Rights Council - to deliver on what is seen as the promise made by the setting up of the International Inquiry (OISL). We need to explain why a purely domestic process will not do.  It would be seen as a “victors court” and would fail to have that fundamental element: The confidence of the victims.

It is clear that any process which is established must be seen as independent and operate under international jurisdiction with a significant majority of judges and prosecutors appointed by the UN. It must also guarantee full witness protection.

That is why we have decided to launch an ambitious screening and advocacy tour designed to help focus minds in the build up to the next HRC meeting, due to be held in Geneva in September. We intend to produce a new advocacy video in English, Spanish and French and take that – along with the updated version of the full length film – on a tour of Latin American countries which are members of the Human Rights Council.  We see the role of the Latin American members of the HRC as particularly crucial in that process which is why the first leg of the tour focuses on them.  Thereafter we will move our attention to the UN in New York – and the US government in Washington – holding screenings and advocacy meetings with country missions, diplomats, and government officials.  For the final week of the tour we will move to Geneva and continue to bring the truth of what happened to the attention of the country missions, the diplomats and the officials who attend the Human Rights Council.

We hope and believe our work so far has had a significant impact on international opinion and has helped the campaign for justice so far.  But we also see this as a very important moment when there is a real danger that the impetus for truth and justice internationally is in danger of being lost.

That is why we are launching this new international initiative.

You can support it by donating to the campaign on the home page.

July 2015

Leaked UN report shows plans to set up domestic process of justice in Sri Lanka

 

As a new report appears showing that disappearences and crimes of sexual violence are continuing under the Sirisena regime, a leaked UN report shows the apparent attempts by the UN to set up a domestic process in conjunction with the Sri Lankan government effectively preempting the OISL report due in September. See Channel 4 news piece and short interview by No Fire Zone Director Callum Macrae below.

June 2015

Updated Tamil Language version of No Fire Zone

No Fire Zone in conjunction with IBC are in the process of creating a Tamil language version of the updated version of No Fire Zone and it will will be available to download soon.

May 2015

No Fire Zone Diplomatic Initiative

As the UN Human Rights Commission meeting in September is only a few months away. We have been busy ensuring that all diplomatic missions in Geneva, New York and London have received a copy of the newly updated version of No Fire Zone. As well as the English version we have also created French and Spanish subtitled versions. The reponse to this initiative has been very positive and we have received several invitations to meet with Embassy representatives.

April 2015

No Fire Zone presented to President Sirisena

During his recent visit to the UK President Sirisena claimed in an Interview that he had not seen No Fire Zone. To make sure that he has every opportunity to do so No Fire Zone Director Callum Macrae has presented a special edition of the Sinhala version of No Fire Zone film to him. Callum had previously attempted to President Sirisena a copy of the film following his meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron and so he visited the Sri Lankan High Commission in London to present a special edition of the Sinhala Version of No Fire Zone. At his meeting The Sri Lankan High Commission gave an undertaking that the film would reach the President. This special edition contained a personal message to President Sirisena urging him to confront the crimes of the past and to encourage Sri Lankan Broadcasters to show the film. and can be seen here

March 2015

Sinhala Version of No Fire Zone Launched

The Sinhala language version of No Fire Zone was launched at a press conference held at the Palace of Westminster. This version with Sinhala laguage commentary and Sinhala subtitles has been made freely available and has had over 35,000 views. The Sinhala version of the film can be viewed here.

Following the press conference, the film's director Callum Macrae was interviewed by Today BBC Radio 4's flagship news programme and was also interviewed by the BBC world service and the BBC Sinhala service.

No Fire Zone available for Educational purposes

Educational licences for No Fire Zone are now available from our Educational Distributors Film Platform

Dear Friends

As many of you will know, Lena Hendry is a Human Rights Defender from Malaysia who has for more than three years been fighting a prosecution brought by the Malaysian authorities for screening No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, allegedly without permission from the country’s Censorship Board.

The letter below explains the background to this disgraceful case.

Yesterday, Tuesday 21st, Lena was found guilty and faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail and/or a maximum fine of 30,000 Malaysian Ringgit (£5400/$6700). Sentence is due to be passed on the 22nd of March.

We have very little time to make abundantly clear to the authorities in Malaysia that we regard the use of this draconian law to deny freedom of speech and persecute Lena as completely unacceptable and extremely damaging to Malaysia’s international reputation.

We are asking people to tweet about the letter including this link: www.NoFireZone.org/Lena Please include the ftwitter accounts of the Malaysian Attorney General, @AGCPutrajaya the Minister of Home Affairs @Zahid_Hamidi and the Prime Minister @NajibRazak Please also include the hashtag #DefendLena

Please also share this on social media such as Facebook - and if possible print it out and send it individually to the people listed on the letter. You may prefer to put the letter as a link on your own website which can also be used on twitter.

Please circulate the letter to as many friends and groups as possible. The link is here: www.NoFireZone.org/Lena

ASSEMBLE