Two recent migrants are among seven males arrested in Ostend for the gang rape of an unconscious 17 year old Belgian girl. The rape took place in November, but has only now come to light thanks to the chance discovery of a video of the attack on the mobile phone of one of the group, a 14 year old boy.
The boy, who attends the Ostend Technical Institute, was being investigated for possible radicalisation after he showed classmates pictures of himself on Facebook wearing military gear and holding a sub-machine gun, De Morgen has reported.
The Belgian police seized his mobile phone as part of the investigation whereupon they found footage of the boy and six others, the oldest aged 25, dancing, laughing and singing in Arabic around their victim who was lying passed out. The men then pulled down her underwear, pushed her legs apart, and groped and raped her.
Of the seven males arrested, two are Belgians and five are Iraqi immigrants. Two are understood to have only recently arrived in the country to claim asylum.
The group has apparently shown no contrition; one is said to have told investigators: “She has nothing to complain about. Women must obey men.” Another is said to have told investigators that the girl asked for sex, although the video clearly shows her unconscious. Another said that gang rape was the most natural thing in the world.
Of the group, six admit to having sex with the girl; only the eldest has denied it.
The crime took place in November in the basement of a private house in Ostend, but has only now come to light as the girl herself was unaware of the attack. She had attended a party with her boyfriend earlier in the evening and is said to have drunk enough spirits to pass out, but it is unclear whether she willingly entered the basement or was taken there by the group.
In a statement, the prosecutor in the case said: “The victim was rendered defenceless by the perpetrators, so remembered nothing of the events. Indeed, it is only today that she has become fully aware of the facts.”
Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken described the attack as “disgusting”, adding “Rapists won’t be given asylum. They will be sent back to Iraq if they are found guilty.”
Ostend Mayor Johan Vande Lanotte said: “It is clear that some newcomers have problematic beliefs about relations between men and women. When they have served their sentences, they must leave the country.”