Administrative Court Upholds Ban on ‘Shakespeare Must Die’

Friday 11 August 2017, Bangkok

Today the Administrative Court, which tries cases of power abuse by governmental agencies, agrees with the government Board of Film Censorship that ‘Shakespeare Must Die’, the banned Thai film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, poses a danger to national security, and that its banning is a righteous exercise of power by the censors and therefore not an infringement of the filmmakers’ right to freedom of expression.
Despite having been funded by the Ministry of Culture, ‘Shakespeare Must Die’ was banned by the ministry’s film censors in April 2012 as a threat to national security; the ban was then upheld by the National Film Board. 

In the same year, separate inquiries by the National Human Rights Commission and the Senate House Committee on Citizens’ Rights found evidence of infringement of the filmmakers’ rights to freedom of expression and further recommended that the restrictive film censorship law should be amended. In 2013, both the United Nations Human Rights Council and the US State Department Country Report on Human Rights both express concern that the banning infringed on the right to freedom of expression in Thailand.