Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Death Threats to London Writer after Her Play Is Axed for Outraging Sikhs

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Death Threats to London Writer after Her Play Is Axed for Outraging Sikhs

Article excerpt

Byline: LECH MINTOWT-CZYZ

A LONDON writer is in hiding today in fear of death threats after her play was forced to close by protests by the Sikh community.

Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, who is Sikh herself, has received threats of murder and abduction after she refused to rewrite her play depicting scenes of rape and violence at a fictional Sikh temple.

Following violent protests by the Sikh community outside the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on Saturday, managers yesterday announced they were axing the controversial work "Behzti", the Punjabi word for "dishonour", 10 days early.

But, with another theatre now offering to stage the production, Ms Bhatti has sought to escape the more militant protesters amid claims from her friends that "mob rule" was endangering freedom of speech.

Ms Bhatti has refused to speak to the media for fear of making the situation worse but one friend, filmmaker Shakila Taranum, said: "She has been threatened with murder and told to go into hiding by the police. …

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