“Green Days" banned from Beirut International Film Festival | Freedom House

“Green Days" banned from Beirut International Film Festival

Lebanese authorities banned the film "Green Days" directed by Hana Makhmalbaf, from being shown at the Forbidden Film Festival in Beirut, after Lebanese intelligence agencies and an Iranian ambassador pressured film festival organizers. The film, documenting the protests following the 2009 Iran presidential election, was banned in Iran and supposed to be shown at the Forbidden Film Festival, which is a part of the Beirut International Film Festival. The Forbidden Film Festival allows filmmakers to screen films initially banned by Lebanese censors, giving filmmakers an opportunity to show off their work and talent.

In Lebanon, free media and expression is increasingly being encouraged. Privately owned television, radio and print outlets are beginning to reflect a wider a range of views. There is no restriction to internet access-yet the government and religious leaders have occasionally censored journalists and bloggers for material deemed critical or offensive.  Movies, television shows and books have also been banned in Lebanon because authorities considered the material offensive to the public. Freedom of religion and academic freedom though have been promoted, and Lebanese citizens have been able to rally for or against the government.

Freedom House condemns the outright ban of the film and urges Lebanese authorities to allow the screening of "Green Days" in the spirit of promoting the "Forbidden Film Festival."

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