A group of film-makers and film collectives have strongly condemned the Indian Government for refusing British Filmmaker Callum Macrae, director of the No Fire Zone a visa into that country.
Indian film-makers K.P.Sasi and Satya Sivaraman and Pedestrian Pictures and the VIBGYOR Film Collective said the refusal of an Indian visa to Macrae had prevented the director from attending the premiereof his own documentary No Fire Zone in New Delhi and Mumbai.
“The denial of visa is clearly part of the Indian government’s appeasement of the Sri Lankan regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa, which has been accused of war crimes during the last phases of the civil war in 2009, which resulted in the deaths of over 70,000 civilian,” a statement from the film makers said.
The statement said Macrae’s globally acclaimed documentary presents hard evidence of these crimes that include rape of Tamil women, torture and murder of journalists and human rights activists. Mr Macrae’s team was nominated for the Noble Prize in recognition of its contribution to human rights.
“In the last few years the Indian External Affairs Ministry has similarly prevented several other filmakers, artists, intellectuals and activists from traveling to India for seminars, exhibitions or public events. By blocking the free flow of ideas, information and artistic works across national borders the government is impinging upon the democratic rights of Indian citizens also,” the statement said.
“We appeal to all freedom loving citizens, groups and organisations to challenge this violation of freedom of expression, a right which is enshrined in the Constitution of India for the protection of Indian democracy,” the statement said.