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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 January, 2004, 11:42 GMT
Rape case protection bid rejected
Scottish Parliament
MSPs dismissed the legislation call
A call by a male pressure group to protect the anonymity of men accused of rape has been dismissed by MSPs.

The UK Men's Movement lobbied the Scottish Parliament's petitions committee for measures to help men fight false rape allegations.

Men's Movement chairman, George McAulay, said two men had been driven to suicide in Scotland in recent years after publicity over false allegations.

But the committee said the move could discourage women from coming forward.

The members said they did not consider a change in the law would be wise.

This parliament and this executive make much noise about their commitment to equality, but I have seen little of it with regard to men
George McAulay
UK Men's Movement
The UK Men's Movement want individuals charged with rape or sexual offences to be given total anonymity until guilt is proven in open court.

The organisation said that the accused's anonymity should last until any appeal lodged within a reasonable time has been dismissed.

Mr McAulay, from Glasgow, said: "This parliament and this executive make much noise about their commitment to equality, but I have seen little of it with regard to men.

"We ask that an accused who may be innocent is given the same anonymity as their accuser, who may be malicious."

Socialist MSP Carolyn Leckie said: "I disagree vehemently with the rationale behind the petition."

Instead, she said the rights of men, women and children in rape cases should be taken into account as part of a wider debate.

Members of the cross-party committee voted unanimously to reject the pressure group's demand.


SEE ALSO:
Father sues over bogus abuse case
11 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Tories urge rape case anonymity
03 Nov 03  |  Politics
Ministers may consider rape law
31 Jul 03  |  Scotland


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