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2018 Freiburg gang rape

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A gang rape was reported to the police in Freiburg, Germany, on 14 October 2018. It was made public on 26 October 2018.[1][2][3][4]

Background[edit | edit source]

Two years before the incident, Freiburg had been in Germany's headlines because of a high-profile murder of a female student carried out by a refugee. This was one of the catalysts of a national debate on the immigration policy.[5][6] Police said that the location where the latest incident took place was one to which they were called regularly to investigate crime reports.[7]

According to police chief Rotzinger, whereas robbery and street crime has lessened from 2017, sexual assaults increased. About 70% of cases were solved and foreigners, constituting 50% of the suspects, were overrepresented as their share of the population was 17%.[8]

Incident[edit | edit source]

According to the police, on 13 October 2018, an 18-year-old woman was drugged in a discotheque in a remote industrial area along Hans-Bunte-Straße, by a 22-year-old Syrian man and then raped in front of the building by at least several others, later identified as six more Syrian and one German national; the accused were aged between 19 and 29.[9] Police say that one man bought the woman, a student who was present with a female friend, a drink, which apparently contained a tranquilizing substance, making her defenseless, then dragged the woman into nearby bushes and raped her, then left her there and returned to the club to call his friends.[5]

Eight suspects, most of whom were previously known to police,[10][1] were detained and taken into custody. The woman made a complaint to the police the next day.[11][9][9]

Investigation[edit | edit source]

One suspect was identified from DNA traces found on the victim; further evaluation of traces from the victim and the scene was carried out.[7] The police sought more suspects, using a 13-person investigation team. One witness claimed that up to 15 men had raped the woman.[10][11]

Eight men were arrested for the crime, seven Syrians and one with German nationality.[12][13]Three of the arrested had presented themselves on the Internet bearing firearms.[14]

The main suspect was already targeted by an undercover investigation[14] for violent crime, drug trafficking and he was a suspect in another suspected rape case. Police had planned to arrest him on 24 October.[5]

DNA traces indicated there were two further unidentified suspects which were not among the arrested.[14][15]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Martin Horn (de), the mayor of Freiburg, stated: "There is no tolerance for despicable acts". He promised to bring the perpetrators to justice swiftly.[2] Thomas Strobl (CDU), the Interior Minister of Baden-Württemberg said: "If the allegations prove true, we have to deal with a vile act that leaves no one cold." Officials called for calm, stating that " It is an act of individuals, which should not be generalized".[7]

On Monday 29 October, there were three demonstrations in Freiburg: One was organized by the right-wing-populist party AfD/Junge Alternative, whilst the other two were attended by counter-protesters.[11][16][17]

ZDF presenter Dunja Hayali demanded a "new and open debate" around the asylum and deportation laws because of the case. "That deportation procedures take so long that they cannot legally be implemented for 1,000 reasons and more is a situation that cannot continue," said Hayali, adding that her statement was not to be understood as xenophobic.[18] Boris Palmer (Alliance 90/The Greens), Tübingen's Lord Mayor, demanded that criminal refugees have their freedom of movement severely restricted, and proposed accommodating them in small asylum centres in remote areas without a connection to public transport. The current German laws would allow this according to Palmer ("Wohnsitzauflage", condition of fixed abode).[19]

The interior minister Baden-Württemberg, Thomas Strobl, was called to the committee of the interior (German: Innenausschuss) of the Bundestag to explain why the main suspect had not been apprehended despite there being warrants for his arrest (German: Haftbefehls).[20]

A further gang rape by asylum seekers in Munich which was reported in the press weeks later, along with the incident in Freiburg which was reported two weeks afterwards started a debate on whether the late reporting was done deliberately. According to criminologist Christian Pfeiffer the longer processing time is not done for political reasons, but instead all group crimes take longer to process where a network of suspects are involved. This process is made more time-consuming when police are forced to use interpreters.[21]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 German Police Arrest 7 Syrians, 1 German in Drug-Rape Case, New York Times, 26 October 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 Germany: 8 arrested for rape in Freiburg, Deutsche Welle, 26 October 2018
  3. German police arrest 7 Syrians, 1 German in drug-rape case, ABCnews.go.com, 26 October 2018
  4. Online, FOCUS. "Gruppenvergewaltigung in Freiburg: Polizei sucht nach weiteren Verdächtigen". FOCUS Online (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-05. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Hauptverdächtiger soll weitere Frau vergewaltigt haben". www.t-online.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-05. Das als linksliberal geltende Freiburg war schon nach dem Mord an einer Studentin vor rund zwei Jahren in die Schlagzeilen geraten. Ein junger Flüchtling war daraufhin festgenommen und im März verurteilt worden. Die damalige Tat sowie weitere Verbrechen in der Region hatten eine Debatte über die deutsche Flüchtlingspolitik ausgelöst 
  6. ONLINE, SPIEGEL. ""Macht euch nicht wehrlos"". SPIEGEL Plus - Das Premium-Angebot des SPIEGEL (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-05. Der Polizeipräsident von Freiburg im Breisgau, Bernhard Rotzinger, 62, über die Sicherheitslage in der Stadt nach einer mutmaßlichen Gruppenvergewaltigung. // SPIEGEL: Die mutmaßliche Gruppenvergewaltigung einer 18-Jährigen durch mehrere geflüchtete Syrer und einen deutschen Staatsbürger hat bundesweit für Aufsehen gesorgt. Wie sicher ist Ihre Stadt? // Rotzinger: Die Sicherheitslage in Freiburg ist stabil. Aber wir müssen akzeptieren, dass das Sicherheitsgefühl auch von Emotionen bestimmt wird. Es gibt bei dieser Thematik das Gefühl, und es gibt die Faktenlage. // Rotzinger: Wir haben nach dem Mord an Maria L. durch den Fluchtling ... usw 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 „Eine abscheuliche Tat, die niemanden kaltlässt“, Die Welt, 27 October 2018
  8. Zeitung, Badische. "Gruppenvergewaltigung in Freiburg: Es gibt nun zehn Verdächtige – und neue Ermittlungsergebnisse - Freiburg - Badische Zeitung" (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-07. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Acht Männer nach Vergewaltigung von 18-Jähriger festgenommen, Tagesspiegel, 26 October 2018
  10. 10.0 10.1 Polizei sucht nach Vergewaltigung mögliche weitere Täter, Die Welt, 27 October 2018
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Gruppenvergewaltigung in Freiburg: Polizei sucht weitere Mittäter, Badische Zeitung, 27 October 2018
  12. "Fribourg : huit hommes arrêtés pour un viol collectif". France 3 Grand Est (in français). Retrieved 2018-11-05. 
  13. "Viol collectif: le cauchemar a duré 4 longues heures". lematin.ch/. Retrieved 2018-11-05. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "Polizei: Hätten Tat verhindern können". rtl.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-06. 
  15. "Two more suspects being sought after alleged gang rape in Freiburg". The Local. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018. 
  16. AfD-Sympathisanten und -Gegner gehen auf die Straße, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 29 October 2018
  17. "Germany: Protesters march after Freiburg gang rape". Deutsche Welle. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018. 
  18. Nach Gruppenvergewaltigung: Dunja Hayali fordert Asyldebatte, Hamburger Abendblatt, 28 October 2018
  19. Boris Palmer will gewaltbereite Asylbewerber isolieren, Die Zeit, 28 October 2018
  20. Soldt, Rüdiger. "Vergewaltigung in Freiburg: Wieder ein schreckliches Verbrechen". FAZ.NET (in Deutsch). ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 2018-11-06. 
  21. "Gruppenvergewaltigungen nehmen zu". rtl.de (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2018-11-12. 

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