‘Cologne is every day’: Europe’s rape epidemic
New York-based conservative think tank Gatestone Institute has compiled ashocking list of sexual assaults and rapes by migrants in Germany in just the first two months of the year.
Drawing only from German media reports, the list documents more than 160 instances of rape and sexual assault committed by migrants in train stations,swimming pools and other public places against victims as young as seven.
German police use terms such as “southerners” (südländer), men with “dark skin” (dunkelhäutig, dunklere gesichtsfarbe, dunklem hauttyp) or “southern skin colour” (südländische hautfarbe) to describe the alleged perpetrators.
Authorities across the country have been accused of downplaying the true extent of the problem by suppressing information about migrant-related crimes, ostensibly due to a “lack of public interest”.
Police are also wary of fuelling civil unrest amid a rising number of attacks on migrants and shelters by right-wing vigilante groups. In response, Germans are increasingly turning to social media to spread information.
A German Twitter account, @XYEinzelfall (“individual cases”), has created aGoogle map to track police reports of crimes allegedly committed by migrants across the region. “Cologne was just the tip of the iceberg,” the page says. “Cologne is every day.”
Most recently, three girls aged 15, 16 and 17 were assaulted over two hours by a mob of up to 30 migrants at a shopping centre in the northern city of Kiel.
Since the attack, which began when two Afghan men began stalking the teenagers and sharing photos on social media, other women have come forward to report similar experiences.
“Groups of young men gather at the Sophienhof [shopping centre] every evening,” a restaurant owner told the Kieler Nachrichten newspaper.
“What they do here is unacceptable. The moment they see a young woman wearing a skirt or any type of loose clothing, they believe they have a free pass. It is about time migrants are made to understand: things in Germany function differently than in their home countries.”
However, refugee advocates have warned against tarring all migrants with the same brush, noting that the alleged crimes are rare incidents in the context of the enormous number of migrants who have come to Europe.
More than 1.1 million migrants flooded into Germany in 2015 and the country is expecting 3.6 million to arrive by 2020, according to internal government estimates.
UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women Dubravka Šimonović told Timethat “against this background, we are currently speaking about incidents that must be carefully studied to establish any patterns and links”.
Growing discontent with the problems caused by mass migration have fuelled the meteoric rise of the right-wing anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which is now enjoying its strongest poll results ever.
The German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) announced that migrants committed crimes at the same rate as native Germans.
“It’s becoming clear that at bottom there is a higher absolute number of criminal cases only because of the increase in number of people living here with the arrival of the refugees,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said at the time.
Mr de Maizière said he had ordered the report in order to provide proof to “dispel rumours about an increase in criminal acts in Germany”, DW reported.
“The majority [of migrants] do not come here with the intention of committing crimes,” he said. “They come to Germany to find protection and peace.”
The same report, which was based on crime statistics from January to the end of September 2015, noted a “marked spike” in crime at migrant centres, which it attributed to overcrowding.
According to BKA, the majority (67 per cent) of crimes committed by migrants consisted of theft, robbery and fraud, while sex crimes made up less than one per cent.
The release of BKA’s report followed allegations by a number of women’s rights groups in Germany that a “culture of rape and violence” was developing in migrant centres, with many assaults going unreported to the police.
After the Cologne attacks, which German
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