Refugees who gang-raped an 18-year-old girl after spiking her drink in an attack that sparked far-right protests in Germany are jailed for up to five years
- Ten men were sentenced today at the district court in Freiburg over the attack
- Eight were jailed, two received suspended sentences and one was acquitted
- The 2018 assault saw hundreds of nationalists march through the city streets
- Eight defendants from Syria, with others from Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany
Refugees who gang-raped an 18-year-old girl after spiking her drink in an attack that sparked far-right protests against foreigners in Germany have today been jailed.
Ten men were handed down sentences at the district court in Freiburg, following the assault on the teenager outside a nightclub in 2018.
The main suspect, named only as Majd H, was jailed for five and a half years, while seven others received between three and four years in prison.
Two others received suspended sentences and one man was acquitted.
The lead defendant in the gang rape case wore a face covering as per coronavirus guidelines
The main suspect, named only as Majd H, whose face has been pixellated, was jailed for five and a half years, while seven others received between three and four years in prison
The refugees covered their faces with folders as they were told of their fate in Freiburg today
The attacked sparked demonstrations in Germany in 2018, with AfD supporters and counter-protesters clashing with police in the centre of Freiburg
The front of the 500-strong AfD protest holding a sign which says, ‘Protect borders – save lives,’ in Freiburg
The court heard how the victim, who was 18 at the time, had her drink spiked at a nightclub and was then led to some nearby bushes where she was gang-raped in an ordeal that lasted more than two hours.
It emerged after the attack that police waited 13 days to apprehend the main suspect, despite there being a warrant out for his arrest which specifically warned he was dangerous.
German newspaper BILD reported at the time that an arrest warrant for the suspect, who was known to police and had a prior conviction for assault, had been issued on October 10.
According to BILD, the warrant clearly noted how dangerous Majd H is and categorized him as a multiple offender.
It went on to say that there was a high probability he might commit other significant, similar offenses, including grievous bodily harm, sexual coercion and exhibitionism.
Finally, it issued a stark warning: To prevent worse, arrest him urgently.
The police waited 13 days until October 23 to arrest Majd H. along with other criminals, at first citing investigative tactics as the reason.
Eight of the accused who appeared in court today are refugees from Syria, while the others come from Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany.
The case, one in a series of high-profile sexual crimes by immigrants in Germany, triggered huge debate about the government’s liberal refugee policies.
Supporters of the anti-Islam, far-right AfD party took to the streets of Freiburg in anti-foreigner protests at the time, triggering large counter-demonstrations.
The city of Freiburg had already been shaken by the 2016 rape and murder of a young German woman by an asylum seeker who claimed to be from Afghanistan.
Two of the defendants, pictured left and right, cover their faces during today’s hearing in Freiburg
The lead defendant chats with his lawyer in court before being jailed for five and a half years
The court heard how the victim, who was 18 at the time, had her drink spiked at a nightclub and was then led to some nearby bushes where she was gang-raped in an ordeal that lasted more than two hours
Eight of the accused are refugees from Syria, while the others come from Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany
The mass sexual assault of hundreds of women by mostly immigrant men during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne in 2015 also stoked opposition against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision that year to open the country’s borders to those fleeing conflict.
Freiburg mayor Martin Horn told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the gang rape had horrified the city, but he praised the way the majority of residents had resisted casting blanket suspicions on immigrants.
‘It was right and important that Freiburg, as a cosmopolitan city, took a considered stance: the perpetrators have to be punished according to the rule of law, while at the same the vast majority distanced itself from populist instrumentalisations.’
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