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Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen add their names to a petition to free child-rapist Roman Polanski

Arrest seen to have "disastrous consequences for freedom of expression across the world"

Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen have added their names to a petition signed by more than 100 film industry luminaries that demands Roman Polanski’s release from detention in Zurich. The 76-year-old director, whose films include The Pianist and Rosemary’s Baby, was arrested on Saturday on an outstanding American arrest warrant related to a three-decade-old underage sex case when he arrived to receive a lifetime achievement award at the city’s film festival. (Polanski pled guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 after he had plied her with Quaaludes and champagne; he later fled to Europe where he has been living in exile since.) The petition cites the director’s creative genius and fame as reasons he should be granted clemency: “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.” Others who have signed include Wim Wenders, Alexander Payne, Tilda Swinton, Pedro Almodóvar, Terry Gilliam and producer Harvey Weinstein. The five-person jury at the Zurich film festival, headed by the actor Debra Winger, yesterday released a statement protesting that the event “had been exploited in an unfair fashion” and that the arrest “could have disastrous consequences for freedom of expression across the world.”

The Guardian

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