Callum Macrae, in collaboration with Channel 4 News, has made three films uncovering the truth about Sri Lanka’s human rights abuses in the final months of its decades-long civil war in 2009.
Macrae’s most recent film No Fire Zone, containing carefully authenticated video evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity, gained particular attention as it was aired just before the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka last November. “Both sides in that war committed crimes, although the most of those who died did so as a result of shelling by forces under the ultimate command of President Mahinda Rajapaksa,” Macrae wrote recently. The film tells this story, and that of the government’s attempt to cover it up.
Macrae has been continuously smeared in Sri Lankan media, with claims that he is a Tamil Tiger supporter and that he and Channel 4 receive funding from the disbanded rebel group. He has received death threats, and the team has been followed by the secret service as well as impromptu pro-government protesters, while in the country. “I am probably the most hated man in Sri Lanka at the moment” Macrae recently wrote, but added that based on his experiences in the country, “it is very clear there are a lot of people in Sri Lanka who are very happy to see their increasingly despotic ruling family coming under pressure.
Join us 20 March 2014 at the Barbican Centre for the Freedom of Expression Awards