India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has decided to delete partially objectionable scenes rather than blur them, as they claim many filmmakers are not implementing their censorship directives.
CBFC has also stated in its communication
addressed to film bodies that it will now mute objectionable dialogues as opposed to beeping them out.
CBFC had asked the makers of Dedh Ishqiya to blur out a scene involging Arshad Warsi in a brothel but it was later found by the Board
that the directive was not implemented.
Twitter has restored access inside Pakistan to dozens of tweets and accounts, after blocking them last month following official complaints about suuposed blasphemous content.
Twitter said it had changed its May 18 decision after the government
failed to provide sufficient clarification. The company said in a statement:
On May 18, 2014, we made an initial decision to withhold content in Pakistan based on information provided to us by the Pakistan
We have re-examined the requests and, in the absence of additional clarifying information from Pakistani authorities, have determined that restoration of the previously withheld content is warranted.
The content is now available again in Pakistan.
Most of the offending material concerned anti-Islam accounts, but the accounts of three US porn stars were also listed.
Facebook has censored the popular page of a liberal Pakistani rock band and others that criticise the Taliban at the request of the government, angering activists campaigning against censorship in the Islamic country.
Rock band Laal (Red)
formed in 2007 and are known for their progressive politics. Their Facebook page has more than 400,000 likes, with users frequently joining debates on issues ranging from feminism to the role of the country's army in politics. But it is now censored to
users from inside Pakistan.
Other pages like Taalibansarezalimans (The Taliban are oppressors) and Pakistani.meem which describes itself as pro-democracy and secularism, have similarly been blocked in recent days.
spokeswoman said: While we never remove this type of content from the site entirely, like most Internet services, we may restrict people from accessing it in the countries where it is determined to be illegal. Facebook have unhelpfully initiated
the block in such a way that users are not made aware of the censorship, requests for the banned page are simply redirected to the requestor's own profile page.
Laal's Facebook page was made accessible in the country after just two days. Good news? Yes, but not as much as you think. Remember that Laal has a pretty strong fan base and an equally strong support system with reach extending to lawyers, advocacy
groups, local and international media.
Other banned page owners who have been blocked cannot fight back in a similar way. Are these people left with any options after they're blocked? Roshni.pk and Talibaans Are Zaalimaans are only
two of the many other pages that remained blocked.
The unblocking of Laal may look like a win, but if you step back and assess the bigger picture, it only reveals the extent to which the government can censor with impunity.
unblocking was clearly a ploy to stop us from creating more outrage -- the unblocking of Laal was a minor battle won in a war we are losing.
Geo TV, Pakistan's leading TV news station which dared to criticise the country's feared spy agency has been ordered off air.
Pakistan's TV censor suspended Geo News's operating licence for 15 days and fined it £60,000 for news reports that did
not please the head of the military's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI), General Zaheer-ul-Islam.
The channel's president, Imran Aslam, condemned the decision, saying the forces of might have prevailed . It seems that justice
has bowed down to forces that are above the law, Aslam said.
Amnesty International said it was a serious attack on vestiges of press freedom in the country:
It is the latest act in an organised campaign of
harassment and intimidation targeting the network on account of its perceived bias against the military.
The row began on 19 April when Geo's coverage of an attempt to kill Hamid Mir, the channel's best-known journalist, enraged the
military. Geo gave prominence to claims by Mir's brother that the ISI was behind the gun attack, which left the journalist seriously wounded. He claimed the hit had been ordered by Zaheer-ul-Islam, and the channel aired photographs and video of the
otherwise little-seen spy chief.
A Pakistani court has ordered police to register a case against Geo TV, actress Veena Malik, her husband Asad Khatak over a programme that supposedly contained blasphemous content. The court ordered that a case also be registered against Geo media group
owner Mir Shakilur Rehman, anchor Shaistan Lodhi. Malik and her husband were guests on the programme.
The court issued the order on a complaint that Lodhi, in her programme Utho Jago Pakistan on Geo entertainment, had allegedly insulted the
family members of the religious character Muhammad.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) said it had received over 5,000 complaints against the programme. It has already served a show-cause notice on Geo Entertainment network
for airing supposedly objectionable content and sought immediate explanation from the channel.
Religious parties, including Jammat-ud-Dawah, held demonstrations in various parts of the country on Friday and Saturday and demanded that the accused
be tried under the blasphemy laws.
Meanwhile, both Ms. Lodhi and Ms. Malik have gone underground fearing violence from extremists.
Clerics across Pakistan condemned GEO for broadcasting a staged wedding of two celebrities on its morning show.
The problem was not the involvement of Veena Malik -- an actor who once scandalised the country by appearing nude on the
cover Indian FHM magazine with ISI written on her arm. Instead offence was taken at the performance of a Sufi song about the marriage of Muhammad's daughter -- a popular element to many ordinary weddings in Pakistan -- and that a comparison was
being drawn with Malik.
Many fundamentalist Islamic sects take a dim view of Sufi culture, which often revolves around singing, poetry and visiting the shrines of holy men.
India's Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) is reported to have suddenly gone on a crusade against displays of cleavage.
The first casualty of the censor board's new-found regard for a woman's modesty is new actress Rupali Krishnarao, who plays
a prostitute in Asshu Trikha's Koyelaanchal . Her cleavage has been blurred by the censors at several places in the film.
Trikha commented about the censorship of his adults only rated film:
was blurred as per the censor board's instruction. I argued with them saying cleavage is an integral part of Bollywood culture.
My film is for adults only. And adult audiences are mature enough to handle some cleavage. But I saw
no point in arguing beyond a point. I just blurred the blouse.
Meanwhile, a sequence in Ananth Mahadevan's The Xpose showing a starlet in a transparent white sari has also been trimmed by the censor board.
Sex and censorship in Indian cinema Bollywood may be the blushing ballerina to Hollywood's brazen pole-dancing stripper, but, as the history of film censorship in India reveals, its screen stars are no stranger to the lip lock