Activists in Malta have reacted strongly to the Malta Police Force’s latest press conference on the Paulina Dembska murder case.
“In a country where the vast majority of rape victims are women and where the number of women killed by men continues to increase, it is surreal and nonsensical to deny that there is a link between the murder of Paulina and the fact that she was a woman killed by a man because she was a woman,” Moviment Graffitti said in a statement.
“The police statement was in fact contradicted by the declaration that the alleged perpetrator will also be charged with rape. It also transpires that the alleged murderer and rapist had a history of sexually harassing women,” they continued.
Their comments come after a police press conference alluded to the fact that Dembska’s murder at the hands of alleged suspect Abner Aquilina was not gender motivated.
Dembska, a 29-year old Polish national who was murdered on 2nd January, was confirmed to have been raped and strangled.
The Malta Women’s Lobby, too, spoke out against claims made within yesterday’s press conference:
“The Malta Women’s Lobby objects to the observation made by the Police that in the case of Paulina Dembska no particular gender was targeted.”
Prominent women’s rights lawyer Lara Dimitrijevic said the press conference confirmed “the ignorance that persists at the highest level of what gender based violence is”.
What do you make of the police’s statementt?