A grave injustice has occurred. Yesterday, the Swiss Ministry of Justice decided that they would not respect the U.S.’s extradition request for filmmaker Roman Polanski. In the United States Polanski is a fugitive because he is a rapist. In 1977, Polanski drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl and the United States has been seeking to arrest him ever since. Upon being charged, Polanski fled the United States for Switzerland.
The United States issued an extradition request for Polanski in Switzerland which was denied. The Swiss Ministry of Justice claims they took “national interests” into account when making the decision as well as the wishes of the victim, Ms. Samantha Geimer–who has joined in the bid for Polanski’s dismissal.
Now, I understand that people feel bad for Roman Polanski. After all, he is a survivor of the Holocaust and his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by Charles Manson and his family. However, being a so-called “cultural icon” is not enough to get away with a rape. Like it or not, Roman Polanski is a rapist and is a fugitive. As far as I’m concerned, it does not matter if the rape occurred in 1977 or in 2007, it still happened. He himself plead guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. In the United States, statutory rape is a crime and Mr. Polanski is a criminal–the law needs to be upheld and he needs to be charged for his crime.
He may be an excellent film director, we may all be saddened over his life’s history, but he needs to be held accountable for his actions. I must say, I agree with Jessica over at Feministing when she says that she does not think the Swiss government gives a crap about Polanski’s offense.
What do y’all think?