22 May 2006

Samoa's government censor bans Da Vinci Code film

5:49 am on 22 May 2006

Samoa's principal censor has banned the screening of the film, the Da Vinci Code, from cinemas and all local television stations.

The ban also applies to the hiring of videos and DVD's of the film.

The decision on the weekend comes after the government censor's office invited leaders of the Samoa Council of Churches to watch a preview of the film held in the country's only cinema.

The Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Samoa, Alapati Mataeliga, said after the film that it would affect the belief of young people whose faith was not strong.

The owner of the Magik cinema, Maposua Rudolf Keil, says the decision to ban public screenings has denied people's fundamental human rights to watch such a film.

But the government principal censor says the country's constitution as well as the amendments of the film act 1978 has played a major role in his decision