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Phantom lands in fresh legal trouble, NGO issues legal notice


In fresh trouble after being banned in Pakistan on an appeal from Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, healthcare non-governmental organisation (NGO) Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has sought removal of all refrences to MSF in Phantom. The movie that stars Katrina Kaif and Saif Ali Khan in lead roles, hits theatres on Friday.

On Thursday, MSF’s lawyers wrote to the production company seeking removal of all references to MSF, its sister NGO Doctors Without Borders, and that they issue a disclaimer prior to the film to make clear that is a purely fictional account.

"The portrayal of MSF and misuse of our name is a dangerous misrepresentation that could endanger MSF staff, patients, and undermine the organisation’s ability to work in some of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones,” said Martin Sloot, general director, MSF India.

"MSF is also asking for an advance copy of Phantom in order to check the way the organisation has been portrayed. All requests have so far gone unanswered, and MSF is now taking legal action," he added.

Asked if he had seen the film, Sloot said, "We have not yet seen the film, but according to the promotional trailer and the interviews given by some of the actors we are worried that the film will use our name and misrepresent us. The lead actor is pictured holding a gun — something our staff would never do."

"The only way we can safely work in places such as Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen, where there is active fighting, is by explaining to every group on the ground that we are independent, neutral and impartial and interested only in providing medical care to people who need it," Sloot added.