Reminiscent of Chinese authorities’ attitudes towards attempts to shed light on Tiananmen Square. The Guardian reports:
The ruling from a judge prevented the docu-drama, which had been due to be broadcast at 9pm on Monday, from being broadcast “by any media until further order”. The channel’s executives were forced to pull the film, which is based on the testimony of interviews conducted for the Guardian and London School of Economics research into the disorder.
For legal reasons, the Guardian cannot name the judge who made the ruling, the court in which he is sitting or the case he is presiding over. However, it is understood that lawyers for the BBC strongly object to his ruling, the nature of which is believed to be highly unusual.
The script from the programme, written by the award-winning playwright Alecky Blythe, was produced from verbatim transcripts of interviews conducted as part of the Reading the Riots study, which conducted confidential interviews with 270 rioters.
Kirsty Hughes, chief executive of Index on Censorship, said: “This is a disturbing move. The Reading the Riots project gives a valuable insight into the events of last summer in England. As we approach the anniversary of the riots, it is important that broadcasts and discussion about the events are allowed to take place. Censoring television programmes is not in any way helpful to our understanding of the important issues and factors underlying the disturbances.”