Call to end sex adverts in newspapers

A Piraeus prosecutor has demanded legal action be taken against newspaper managers he says are responsible for aiding and abetting debauchment of third parties through personal ads published at the beginning of summer 2001. In his letter to the Athens prosecutor this June, Grigoris Peponis included the lawsuits of six cases involving women selected through the personal ads of certain newspapers and then arrested by Piraeus policemen in hotels of that city posing as potential clients. Peponis said those responsible for inserting the adverts repeatedly acted from motives of pecuniary gain, given that the adverts were regularly included in nearly every issue of the newspaper – a practice which earned them money from those who gave the orders for the placing of such adverts, the prosecutor said. Police from the Athens Vice Squad began undercover operations at the beginning of this summer to establish contact with the subject, Peponis added in his letter. Using telephone numbers from the newspaper adverts, policemen arranged meetings with women at hotels in Piraeus where they went posing as clients, and at which they arrested the women once the agreed fee had been handed over. In some newspapers, services were advertised in the more innocent formula used by dating services while other publications printed blunt and frank advertisements which made it very clear what they were offering, Peponis said. The publication of adverts selling sexual services will be forbidden under the government’s new draft bill against sexual exploitation, which now has a new clause protecting the exploitation of minors under the age of 18. They hurt us but we do not respond.

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