YouTube blocks BBC rape documentary after Indian court order
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YouTube blocks BBC rape documentary after Indian court order

YouTube has complied with requests from Indian authorities to block links to the controversial BBC documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ which aired in the UK this week.

Leslee Udwin’s film about a brutal 2012 gang-rape and murder in Delhi in 2012 features an interview with one of the convicted rapists, Mukesh Singh, who suggested that the victim was at fault for what had happened.

“When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her’, and only hit the boy,” he said in the documentary.

In another comment he said: “A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy.”

Indian authorities sought and received a court order earlier this week banning the broadcast of the documentary, saying it could cause public coutcry. It was not available on Indian television or on BBC’s iPlayer in India, but was widely available on YouTube in India.

YouTube has since complied with requests from Indian authorities and blocked a number of links to the documentary. However, other links were still working for Indian viewers Friday.

In an email to the Huffington Post, a YouTube India spokesperson said: “While we believe that access to information is the foundation of a free society, and that services like YouTube help people express themselves and share different points of view, we continue to remove content that is illegal or violates our community guidelines, once notified.”

Meanwhile, Gaurav Bhaskar, a Google spokesman in India, told the Wall Street Journal that it had “complied with the court order and blocked access to those web links” specified by Indian authorities.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Thursday that Indian authorities would take action against the BBC for broadcasting the documentary. He did not specify what steps the government would take, telling reporters only that “all options are open”.

The ban appeared to do little to stop demand for the video in India, with working links to the video being widely shared on social media Friday.

Many Indian commentators welcomed the documentary and condemned the court’s decision to ban it. Sagarika Ghose wrote in her Times of India review:

There is nothing in this serious film that is either vulgar, offensive or glorifies rape and far from being an “insult” to Nirbhaya is in many ways a tribute to her formidable courage. When the dead-eyed remorseless rapist Mukesh Singh declares “usne haath payr chalaya islilye humne usko maara”- the viewer’s heart skips a beat for a young woman who deserves a national salute from every citizen.