Welcome to Multicultural Europe. “A friend was grabbed by one of the men and put into a headlock. Her face was in his jacket. He cuddled her and licked her face. She then said that she had no strength to free herself, she was completely at his mercy.”
The headline of this story says Sweden, but it appears to have confused Sweden with Switzerland. “New Year’s Eve sex assaults also reported in Finland, Sweden and Austria,” News.com.au, January 8, 2016:
WOMEN in other European cities were the targets of sex attacks on New Year’s Eve, similar to a spate of apparently co-ordinated sexual assaults on women in Germany.
Police in the western German city of Cologne said they had received 120 criminal complaints by Thursday and quoted witnesses as saying that groups of 20-30 young men “who appeared to be of Arab origin” had surrounded victims, assaulted them and in several cases robbed them on New Year’s Eve.
Similarly Finnish police have revealed an unusually high level of sexual harassment in Helsinki on New Year’s Eve and said they had been tipped off about plans by groups of asylum seekers to sexually harass women.
Swiss police said several women were allegedly robbed and sexually assaulted in Zurich on New Year’s Eve, adding the attack method appeared “a little bit similar” to that used in a spate of assaults in Germany.
And it has now emerged that similar sex attacks were carried out in Austria, but police didn’t publicise the incidents “to protect the privacy of the victims”.
The incidents only came to light after several females came forward to complain to local media.
One identified as Sabrina S (not her real name) told Austrian newspaper Osterreich that she and her friends were attacked by a group of 10-15 men while walking home from a new club in the historic district of Salzburg.
“A friend was grabbed by one of the men and put into a headlock. Her face was in his jacket. He cuddled her and licked her face. She then said that she had no strength to free herself, she was completely at his mercy,” Sabrina said.
It was only after she managed to hit and kick the attacker that her group was able to flee. She claimed to be aware of many other incidents after posting a warning on Facebook.
“Some wrote me that they were greatly distressed at the state bridge, the Makartsteg or the railway station. A girl has even reported it to have been abducted almost New Year’s Eve at the Town Hall by a group,” Sabrina said.
Helsinki deputy police chief Ilkka Koskimaki told AFP: “There hasn’t been this kind of harassment on previous New Year’s Eves or other occasions for that matter … This is a completely new phenomenon in Helsinki.”
Security guards hired to patrol the city on New Year’s Eve told police there had been “widespread sexual harassment” at a central square where around 20,000 people had gathered for celebrations.
Three sexual assaults allegedly took place at Helsinki’s central railway station on New Year’s Eve, where around 1000 mostly Iraqi asylum seekers had converged.
“Police have … received information about three cases of sexual assault, of which two have been filed as complaints,” Helsinki police said in a statement.
“The suspects were asylum seekers. The three were caught and taken into custody on the spot,” Koskimaki told AFP.
Police said they had increased their preparedness “to an exceptional level” in Helsinki for New Year’s Eve after being tipped off about possible problems.
“Ahead of New Year’s Eve, the police caught wind of information that asylum seekers in the capital region possibly had similar plans to what the men gathered in Cologne’s railway station have been reported to have had,” police said in a statement.
Koskimaki said police did not see a link between the Cologne and Helsinki incidents.
Shortly before New Year’s Eve, Finnish police also arrested six Iraqis at an asylum residency centre in Kirkkonummi, around 30km west of Helsinki, suspected of “publicly inciting criminal behaviour”. They were released on January 2.
According to Koskimaki, the arrests were linked to the information police received in the run-up to New Year’s Eve.
In November, Finnish authorities said around 10 asylum seekers were suspected of rapes, among the more than 1000 rapes reported to police in 2015.
In Zurich, six women reported being surrounded by “several dark-skinned men”, who had robbed, groped and molested them, police said, adding that this was an unusually high number for Switzerland….