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Release Polanski


Release Roman Polanski and Respect
This blog will host reactions and support messages to the recent arrest of Roman Polanski during the Zurich International Film Festival

Sign the petition on twitter: http://twitition.com/48eei
And join the cause on facebook Release Polanski http://apps.facebook.com/causes/361937

We want more messages like this one from EFA.
The following solidarity note was issued yesterday and read out at the Zurich Film Festival's special event held in honour of Roman Polanski: "As members of the European Film Academy and the European film community we protest at the arbitrary treatment of one of the world's most outstanding film directors. We declare our deep respect for our colleague and friend Roman Polanski and we demand his immediate release. Wim Wenders Volker Schloendorff Victoria Abril Peter Suschitzky Jean-Claude Carriere Bertrand Tavernier "


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Roman Polanski could be extradited to U.S.

 

Roman Polanski is weighing his legal options after his arrest Saturday at the Zurich Airport.

If he agrees to allow extradition, he could be sent to the U.S. within a few days. If he fights the order, it could take several months for the case to get through Swiss courts.

Ever since being charged in 1977 for having sex with a 13-year-old girl, Polanski has lived in Paris and has avoided countries with extradition with the U.S.

The Swiss arrest was particularly surprising since the helmer had been to Switzerland many times in the last three decades and even has a house in the country.

Polanski was scheduled to receive the Zurich Film Festival's Golden Eye award for lifetime achievement when he was apprehended at Zurich Airport.

The Swiss Justice Ministry said U.S. authorities have sought the arrest of the 76-year-old director around the world since 2005.

In a statement, three Los Angeles attorneys representing Polanski  indicated the arrest came as a surprise. The lawyers have been representing him in an ongoing attempt to have the case against Polanski dismissed on the grounds of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.

"We were unaware of any extradition being sought and separate counsel will be retained for those proceedings,” wrote attorneys Douglas Dalton, Chad Hummel and Bart Dalton. Their request to have the 1977 charges against Polanski dismissed is currently pending before the state Court of Appeal.

The organizers of the Zurich Film Festival expressed “great consternation and shock” over Polanski’s arrest and said the program honoring his films would go on in his absence.

A spokeswoman for the event, Nikki Parker, wrote in an e-mail that neither Polanski nor the organizers considered his legal status in the U.S. an issue in attending the festival because he often traveled to Switzerland and even owned a home there.

French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand was quick to comment "He was trapped. In the same way that there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America, and that has just shown its face."

Actors and artist were also quick to set up and sign a petition demanding his release:

Petition for Roman Polanski bu SACD who published the following statement.

We have learned the astonishing news of Roman Polanski's arrest by the Swiss police on September 26th, upon arrival in Zurich (Switzerland) while on his way to a film festival where he was due to receive an award for his career in filmmaking.

His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals.

Filmmakers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision. It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers, is used by the police to apprehend him.

By their extraterritorial nature, film festivals the world over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this.

The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which no-one can know the effects.

Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his freedom.

Filmmakers, actors, producers and technicians - everyone involved in international filmmaking - want him to know that he has their support and friendship.

On September 16th, 2009, Mr. Charles Rivkin, the US Ambassador to France, received French artists and intellectuals at the embassy. He presented to them the new Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the embassy, Ms Judith Baroody. In perfect French she lauded the Franco-American friendship and recommended the development of cultural relations between our two countries.

If only in the name of this friendship between our two countries, we demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski.

Petition on twitter:

http://twitition.com/48eei

Facebook cause Release Polanski: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/361937?m=1a70f60b

Comments (2)

POLANSKI

READ THIS BY PHILOSOPHER B. H. LEVY! BEAUTIFUL...

Sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl is obviously a serious crime.

And being an artistic genius never constituted, for any crime, an attenuating circumstance.

Having said that, and considering the wave of madness currently sweeping the country, we should also remember the following:

1. The "illegal sexual intercourse" that Roman Polanski acknowledged he was guilty of 32 years ago is not, for all that, the deadly crime, even crime against humanity, that the avengers hot on his heels have been denouncing for the past 10 days. Yes, it is a crime. But there are degrees in the scale of crimes. And it is an insult to good sense, an assault on reason, a door left open to all kinds of confusion, to muddle everything, to try to make everyone believe that a rape is a crime of the same nature as, for example, the one his wife Sharon Tate was a victim of, eviscerated several years earlier, to risk, in other words, because that's what we're really talking about, seeing Polanski join Charles Manson in the penitentiary where, starting January 1, 2010, he will have the possibility of parole.

2. This affair is all the more senseless as the principal complainant has chosen to forgive, to turn the page and, if possible, to forget. Leave me alone, she begs every time the Justice Spectacle, or just simply the Spectacle, shines its spotlights on this part of her past! Leave me alone and, while we're at it, forget this man that I, his victim, think has paid enough! But no. Defenders of victims' rights are there knowing better than the victim what she wants and what she feels. We are dealing with people who would step over the victims rather than let go of their prey and renounce the drunken desire to punish. It is shameful.

3. When the victim withdraws her complaint, isn't it up to society, that is to say the judge, to pursue the matter? Yes, without a doubt. From a strict judicial point of view, it is indeed the right of society. But this will be neither the first nor the last time that the strict judicial perspective misses the demands of compassion as well as those of intelligence. And just as I have never abstained from pointing out, in the Law of this America that I love, customs or punishments, found in every legal system, that distort the pure democratic idea, likewise there is no reason not to say it: arresting a man today about whom it was decided a long time ago, after 42 days in prison, that he wasn't a pedophile, tracking him like a terrorist, and extraditing him like a former Nazi is perhaps right according to the law, but not according to justice.

4. Would it be, like we're hearing everywhere, that his celebrity was giving Mr. Polanski refuge? No, of course not. I have spent my life trying to pull minuscule lives, nameless and faceless victims, from obscurity -- and I would have exactly the same views if Mr. Polanski weren't Mr. Polanski. Except... Except I precisely wouldn't have to maintain them. Because he wouldn't have been arrested. His dossier would have been buried for years. And there wouldn't have been any prosecutor, on the eve of an election (because many American judges are elected by the people like mayors and sheriffs), to arrange this high-profile arrest. Celebrity is not protecting Roman Polanski; it is doing him a disservice. Far from Roman Polanski hiding behind his name, it is his name that is drawing attention to him. And if there is a double standard in this affair, it is making Polanski, not an ordinary defendant, but a symbol -- and his eventual appearance a politico-media "grand bazaar" more than a fair trial.

5. The root of the matter lies in the whiff of popular justice that masks everything and transforms the commentators, the bloggers, the citizens, into so many judges sworn in on the great tribunal of Opinion -- some weighing the crime, others the punishment; we have even seen one of the virtuous, apparently an expert in chemical castration, propose for this new Dutroux (sic) a definitive treatment... Strange sort of outrage in those who don't find fault when it's a truly powerful person who acts like a child predator in front of our faces (ah, Mr. Berlusconi's escapades) but who become implacable when it's a seemingly powerful person who, like Polanski, has no other weapon but his talent... Singular kind of moralists who take an evil pleasure in replaying over and over the details of this sordid affair in order then to throw the first stone...

This lynching is a disturbance of the public order more serious than Roman Polanski remaining free.

This tenacity on the part of the gossips, and this desire to see the head of an artist on a pike, are the very essence of immorality.

Either one of two things, Your Honors. Either Polanski was this monster -- and we shouldn't have given him either an Oscar or a César; we needed to boycott his films; we needed to turn him in to the authorities every time he vacationed with his family at his home in Switzerland. Or you have never found fault, ever, with his announced appearances on the red carpets of every world festival; you feel as I do the formidable hypocrisy of this prosecutor, craving recognition, who woke up one morning to deliver him like a trophy to the public condemnation of the white-hot anger of voters -- and we must, like his victim, plead that he finally be left in peace.

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernardhenri-levy/on-the-polanski-affair_b...

Polanski Custody

Though I have heard that the girl he admitted guilt in having sex with does not seek justice, it may not just be about her. If anyone does this to a minor it is an offense against society.

I am surprised by the reaction of his detention. He admitted guilt and fled the authorities. Why aren't more people upset that he did this horrible thing to this child.

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