PROFESSIONAL film-maker David Whitney’s latest movie — about a Pakistani activist student who was tortured, shot and left for dead — has been banned in Pakistan.
Mr Whitney, along with Producer Noordin Mengal, made the 29-minute hard-hitting film The Line of Freedom which draws attention to the murder of hundreds of political activists and students in Balochistan.
Watch the movie trailer here:
It focuses on the true story of student Nasir Baloch who was allegedly abducted and tortured by soldiers from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The film has now had more than 25,000 views online since it was released late last year, It was also selected for the prestigious 2013 Gulf Film Festival and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has tweeted his support for it.
Mr Whitney, aged 35, from Horwich, said: “The film is doing well and is causing waves like it was supposed to but it isn’t available in Pakistan which is disappointing.
“But I was expecting that. It’s more important that it’s out there in the world and draws attention to what’s happening in Balochistan.
“It was accepted for the Gulf Film Festival but on the day of the screening, the Pakistan government asked for it to be pulled.
“That was unbelievable. I was told that the festival is completely independent — but it’s obviously not.”
Nasir Baloch was abducted, tortured and shot in January, 2011.
Former Rivington and Blackrod High School pupil Mr Whitney said: “He was arrested by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He survived his ordeal and went on to tell his story.
“This is happening systematically in the country. There are 10,000 people missing and cases of bodies being found and people being abducted.”
It is not the first time that Mr Whitney has been censored — his feature length film Kandahar Break, set in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, was also removed from the country’s Internet Movie Database page. He said: “I was approached to shoot The Line of Freedom because I shot my feature movie Kandahar Break in Pakistan, as well as a documentary for Sky. So I have got quite a bit of experience of the area.
“Kandahar Break was banned from IMDB — the Pakistan authority blocked access to the page.
“It’s not a surprise to me really. It’s supposed to be a democratic government so quite why they are hiding it from the people is unknown.”
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