Press release: Council of Europe Urged to Support Rape Victims by Sending Polanski to Face Justice
30 September 2009
Britain’s former Europe Minister Denis MacShane MP has said the Council of Europe should support the extradition of Roman Polanski as part of its campaign against rape. On Friday (2 October), the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly will debate a report on rape and violence against women. MacShane has called on fellow-parliamentarians from 46 European states to support the decision of the Swiss authorities to detain Polanski.
“Rape is now the world’s most serious violent crime after murder. Polanski took a 13 year-old girl, gave her drugs, and then had anal sex with her. Sodomising a child is rape. It is a violent crime and arguments about the passage of time or how much money was given to Polanski’s victim cannot remove the fact that he fled from justice like any other violent criminal. Rape in too many Council of Europe countries is not properly investigated as women are afraid to report rape and male-dominated police and judicial systems do not take the violence of rape seriously.
“Now soldiers and militia are using rape to terrorise women in too many conflicts in the world. Modern democracies can ban smoking but do not do enough to ban rape. Polanski committed an act of paedophile rape and should be held accountable for this violence in order to send a message that sodomising a little girl is not to be excused because of his genius as a film-maker. We expect justice to reach back years for other crimes which at the time they were committed those responsible believe they were doing what was permitted. Rape and the sexual trafficking of young girls is a 21st century scourge and finding excuses for a child-rapist like Polanski is not acceptable,” MacShane told Council of Europe delegates today.