24 May 2006

Samoa cinema owner challenges movie ban

8:37 pm on 24 May 2006

The owner of the only cinema in Samoa has appealed the decision by the government censor to ban public screening of the film, the Da Vinci Code.

The owner of the Magik cinema, Maposua Rudolf Keil, acted three days after the ban was declared.

Maposua says he believes the censor has no authority under law to ban a film but only to provide ratings.

After the decision to ban public screenings and the hiring of videos and DVD's, Maposua says basic human rights to free speech and choice have been violated.

He says his lawyer Leulua'ialii Tasi Malifa will represent him in the appeal to be heard first by the Censor Board.

The board consists of the government principal censor, and heads of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Women's affairs, the chief executive of the Ministry of Justice and a representative of the Council of Churches.

Maposua will meet the acting Prime Minister, Misa Telefoni, shortly to discuss the matter.