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Rape film could further hurt Denmark-India ties

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Rape film could further hurt Denmark-India ties
DR is billing India's Daughter as "the gang rape that shook the world". Photo: Plus Pictures/DR
13:21 CET+01:00
Danmarks Radio was heavily involved in the new documentary India's Daughter, which has been banned by Indian authorities and threatens to further strain relations between Copenhagen and Delhi.
The documentary India’s Daughter, which tells the story of the 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi, may damage Denmark’s already strained relationship with India. 
 
Although the film is being presented as a BBC production, Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR) was deeply involved in the film’s creation and its director, Israeli-born Leslee Udwin, resides in the Copenhagen area. 
 
Indian officials have banned the film and according to Berlingske are considering legal action against the BBC. If DR also gets brought into the proceedings, it could further deteriorate the diplomatic bonds between Denmark and India, which have suffered serious setbacks over the Denmark’s refusal to extradite suspected gunrunner Niels Holck. 
 
Holck, known in India as Kim Davy, is wanted in India for allegedly delivering weapons to rebel forces in West Bengal in 1995. 
 
Holck has argued that he would face potential torture if extradited to India and although the Danish government initially granted India’s request to have the Dane stand trial before an Indian court, Holck's appeal against the decision was upheld by the Danish court system. The Indian government has retaliated against Denmark by freezing relations between the two countries. 
 
DR’s head of documentaries, Mette Hoffmann Meyer, told Berlingske that India’s Daughter “is as much a DR production as it is a BBC production”. 
 
“We had our Danish producer Mette Heide and Plus Pictures involved in the whole production along with Leslee Udwin and DR, which financed the production in cooperation with the BBC,” Meyer said. 
 
The Danish connections to India’s Daughter, which aired on DR1 Sunday night and will be re-aired Tuesday night on DR2, could turn relations between India and Denmark even frostier. 
 
“You never know what will happen, but for now I doubt that the relationship between India and Danmarks Radio – or Denmark in general – can be much worse than it already is. Danish journalists have been barred from entering India for years. Meanwhile, the Indian media up until now has been describing the documentary as a BBC production, so maybe they are not even aware that DR is part of it,” Stig Toft Madsen, an expert on India at the University of Copenhagen’s Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, told Berlingske. 
 
Meyer said that to her knowledge the Indian Embassy has not contacted DR about the documentary.
 
India’s daughter can be viewed online here (within Denmark) and here (within the UK). Rights to the film have been sold to 16 countries. 
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