India asks YouTube to remove Delhi rape film

KATHMANDU, March 6: India has asked YouTube to remove all links to a controversial documentary about the gang rape and murder of a woman in Delhi after banning its broadcast, a government official told Reuters on Thursday.

Leslee Udwin’s “India’s Daughter” features a controversial interview with Mukesh Singh, one of four men sentenced to death for the rape and torture of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in December 2012. In comments released to the media before the film was released, Singh blames the victim for the crime, saying that women are more responsible than men for rape.

“We just forwarded the court order and asked them (YouTube) to comply,” said an official at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

British broadcaster BBC agreed not to air the film within India, acting on the request of the Indian government. It did show the film outside India, however, and it was still possible to view the documentary inside India on websites such as YouTube.

Singh’s comments have caused an uproar on social media and reignited a debate about gender inequality in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Many have argued that Singh’s comments are insulting to her memory or prone to incite unrest, but Udwin and others say that capturing the rapist’s perspective is essential to understanding the widespread phenomenon of sexual violence in India.

“We believe that access to information is the foundation of a free society,” said a spokeswoman for Google, which owns the video sharing site YouTube. “… we continue to remove content that is illegal or violates our community guidelines, once notified.”

Al Jazeera and Reuters