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Another documentary banned from Beirut film festival

(ANHRI/IFEX) - ANHRI condemns the decision of the Lebanese National Security Office to cancel all licenses granted to the Lebanese film "What Happened". The film was scheduled to be screened at The Banned Movies Festival in Beirut, which showcases films that were banned at the Beirut International Film Festival in 2010.

"What Happened" is a Lebanese documentary about an incident that occurred in the early 1980s which claimed the lives of several people, including the father and sister of the director, Gaulle Holiday. The film has already won the special jury award at the Beirut International Film Festival in 2010, despite being prevented from screening.

The Iranian movie "Green Days", by the Iranian director Hana Makhmalbaf, was also banned from the festival a week earlier. "Green Days" is a documentary which focuses on the protests organized by the Iranian opposition following the disputed results of the 2009 presidential elections in Iran.

"The Lebanese censor board imposes many restrictions on creativity, for political reasons and in bureaucratic ways, such as with the number of agencies responsible for issuing permits. Moreover, the National Security Office, which lacks experience in evaluating these types of works, refuses permits on the pretext of security concerns," said ANHRI.

ANHRI calls on the Lebanese authorities to review all censorship laws in order to ensure freedom of expression and to hold those responsible for restricting creative freedom and innovation.

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