Greek actors demand justice after child rapist theatre director is released

Dimitris Lignadis was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison for raping two minors, before inexplicably being freed, causing outrage and disgust across Greece

The former director of the National Theatre of Greece, Dimitris Lignadis, was found guilty of two counts of rape against two underage boys in 2019, before shockingly being released from prison last week.

The case has sparked outrage across the country. Among those leading the calls for justice is the Union of Greek Actors which released a statement outlining its disgust at the decision:

On July 13, 2022 Dimitris Lignadis, former teacher and director of the National Theatre of Greece, was found guilty of two counts of rape against minors. He was sentenced in the first instance to 12 years in prison without recognition of mitigating circumstances. Although he remained in pre-trial detention for a year and a half because he had initially been sentenced, with detailed reasoning, to be dangerous and while he had not yet been tried, three hours after his conviction he was deemed to no longer be dangerous and was, therefore, released.

Court decisions are issued in the name of the Greek people. Therefore, they must be aligned with the public sense of justice. The specific court, presided over by Mrs. Panagiota Yioupi, not only failed to put the guilty child rapist in prison, not only did it not give justice to an entire social movement demanding dignity and freedom, but for months tolerated the slandering of the victims, their attendants, the witnesses, the journalists and the entire intellectual world of artists as average, professional homosexuals, scoundrels and laypeople. If all this happens in a courtroom with all the lights turned on, we shudder to think what happens with the lights off.

We actors, musicians, technicians, the people who work here tonight for all of you, since July 13, are vulnerable. We are unprotected because our country tolerates such decisions and violates our self-evident right to truth, to justice, to our bodies and our right to common sense.

From July 13 and for every day Dimitris Lignadis walks free, not only us, but the entire Greek society is imprisoned. As people of culture, citizens of Greece, fathers and mothers of children growing up here, we request the immediate lifting of the suspension of the conviction.

We want the victims of Lignadis, those who have found the courage to speak and those who are still looking for it, to continue living among us without fear and shame. We want the supreme good of our democracy and freedom to be deprived from the one who unrepentantly rapes children. We want the brave decision of sentencing the guilty party to 12 years in prison to be upheld. We want to live in a place where justice will shine in proportion to its beauty.

We stand with the victims

Dimitris Lignadis, guilty of raping two children, should remain in prison

Union of Greek Actors

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