Bruno Manser Fund barred from Leonardo DiCaprio London premiere

Bruno Manser Fund barred from Leonardo DiCaprio London premiere

(LONDON, UK) Johanna Michel and Lukas Straumann, representatives of the Swiss rainforest charity The Bruno Manser Fund, have been denied entry to the premiere of Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change documentary Before The Flood tonight at London’s Leicester Square.

The NGO executives were told by security officers and the Odeon theatre’s box office manager that they were not allowed to attend the premiere because they had been seen holding a banner on Leicester Square calling on Leonardo DiCaprio to pay back stolen Malaysian corruption assets. Michel and Straumann were told that their tickets would be refunded but that they would not be allowed to enter the premiere which was attended by Leonardo DiCaprio and director Fisher Stephens.

"I was completely surprised when the security officer pulled us out and said we wouldn’t be allowed in", said Lukas Straumann. "This is outrageous and unheard of as we had done nothing apart from exerting our right to the freedom of opinion in a public space. We demand an apology from Leonardo DiCaprio and from the BFI London Film Festival. Obviously, we were specifically targeted as we had criticized Leonardo DiCaprio’s failure to deal appropriately with the millions of dollars that he and the Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation had received from politically exposed persons from Malaysia."

Straumann and Michel were in London to hold a press conference on the recovery of stolen Malaysian state assets. According to the US Department of Justice, US$61 million embezzled from the Malaysian state fund 1MDB flew into the production of The Wolf of Wall Street, which was co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation had received another 2 to 3 million US dollars in dodgy Malaysian donations.


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