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Lebanon: Film censored over religious criticism

5 October 2017
Lebanese authorities banned US horror film "Annabelle: Creation" from cinemas after some Christian clerics expressed opposition to some of the scenes.
Photo: Annabelle: Creation poster/Facebook

 

Lebanese authorities banned US horror film “Annabelle: Creation” from cinemas on 17 August 2017 – the night the film was set to open – after they asked cinemas to put the film on hold until consultations were completed after some Christian clerics expressed opposition to some of the scenes. However, a representative of chain Cinema City said the problem had already been settled and the film had been banned from being screened in the country, reported Lebanese daily Annahar.

Antoine Zachia, adviser to the minister of social affairs and member of the film censorship committee, explained to the daily that “the film touches upon the Christian religion as a whole; the symbol of the cross and Christian religious rites”, adding that “the messages in such films are very dangerous; anything that promotes the worship of demons is rejected; and the victory of evil over good is an unacceptable idea, especially if the good is a cleric”.

In March 2015, Freemuse submitted its stakeholder submission to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review recommending that Lebanon amend Legislative Decree No. 2 and any other law permitting prior censorship of theatrical, broadcast or printed material to ensure that freedom of expression, including the right to receive or impart information, is protected in line with Lebanon’s international obligations.

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