The National Post (Canada) reports:
After receiving threats and two suspicious letters Tuesday, the National Archives of Canada cancelled the screening of a controversial documentary that critiques Iran’s nuclear weapons program, a move that has organizers questioning the national library’s autonomy.
The Free Thinking Film Society’s showing of Iranium prompted so many complaints — some of them from the Iranian Embassy — that staff thought it necessary to close the entire building at 396 Wellington St. in Ottawa, just steps from the Supreme Court of Canada and Parliament Hill at 4:45 p.m., said archives spokeswoman Pauline Portelance.
“Once we started to receive threats from the public and threats of public protest, we deemed the risk associated with the event was a little too high,” she said….
By 7 p.m., the letters were cleared and considered “not suspicious at all.”
Even still, organizers were furious to see their event barred from the National Archives, a regular venue for the “libertarian, conservative” society that regularly screens films about democracy and current affairs….
Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated. Thanks to Yair Rosenberg for the pointer.
UPDATE: I’m delighted to report that it looks like the film would be shown after all, because of the intervention of a Canadian government minister. According to the National Post,
Heritage Minister James Moore has instructed Library and Archives Canada to show the documentary film Iranium after “threats of violence” caused a screening of the film Tuesday to be cancelled, the minister’s office has announced.
Both Mr. Moore and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney had earlier criticized Library and Archives, a federal Crown agency, for cancelling the screening.
“The principle of free speech is one of the cornerstones of our democracy,” [Mr.] Moore’s office said in a prepared statement. “Minister Moore took action as soon as he heard that the film was cancelled. The minister has instructed the Library and Archives to honour their commitment to show the film, while taking all appropriate steps to ensure security. Canada does not accept attempts from the Iranian Embassy to dictate what films will, and will not be shown in Canada.” …
Thanks to commenter TennLion for the pointer.