Swedish police have blamed a ‘culture’ of ‘self censorship’ rather than a politically motivated cover-up for their two year silence on migrant sex abuse which targeted underage girls at a music festival in Stockholm.
The crimes are alleged to have taken part at a music festival for 12 to 17-year-olds in the summers of 2014 and 2015. Since the story broke on Monday, Sweden’s pro mass migration prime minister has slammed the “double betrayal” of women by police for not prosecuting perpetrators or informing the public.
Despite the man in charge of policing the event being quoted as saying the force had “difficulty” talking about the migrant sex abuse because they feared playing into the hands of the anti mass migration Sweden Democrat party, a representative from Stockholm police denied there was a cover-up on BBC Newsnight last night.
At first, he appeared to claimed that it was normal not to release such information; then he admitted it was a “big mistake”; finally he said the police would do the same again if the perpetrators were white Swedes.
“We didn’t cover up, of course we didn’t. But we didn’t tell. And there are so many things we don’t tell because we have so much information, so much things going on”, claimed Varg Gyllandar from Stockholm Police.
“That was a mistake; a big mistake today. But of course it wasn’t a cover up”, he added, claiming that the police would have “absolute” have kept quite about migrant sex abuse of white Swedes.
“We in the police never talk about whether they are Swedes or if they come from other parts – the media does, but we don’t”, he added.
The festival took place a month before general elections in which the Sweden Democrats came third. A spokesman for the party, Paula Bieler, was unimpressed with the admission that the police had stayed quiet.
“It’s just wrong. [The police] shouldn’t in any way let political views affect their work and what they report or not”, she said.
Mr. Gyllandar claimed that the silence was part of a wider cultural “problem” for Swedes, and not part of a political motivated cover-up.
“Well, I think we all carry a bit of self-censorship; that we are afraid of discussing these question because you can appear like a racist. This is a cultural thing for us. We do go there… that’s maybe a problem”, he said.
Yesterday, it emerged that Stockholm Council and the festival organisers identified the migrant sex abuse phenomenon two years ago, but claimed it would have been “irresponsible” to have spoken out.
Roger Ticalo, who organises the We Are Sthlm festival for the council, described the phenomenon in detail to the BBC. His characterisation closely mirrors that of ‘Taharrush’, a well-known concept in the Arab world whereby women in public places are surrounded and harassed by sex mobs.
“These guys, they were like 5/10/15 sometimes, they only go [to the festival]… to sexual harass these young girls.
“What happens is they surround them and start to get around them, and then suddenly they start to sexually harass them. You know, touching breasts, the crouch and stuff like that”, he explained.
In 2014 and 2015 there were 38 confirmed complains of sexual harassment, including rapes, at the festival. However Swedish paper DW reports the figure could be as high as 200. During a single night police and security guards had to intervene against 90 young men taking part in the abuse, one eyewitness told the paper.
Yesterday DW, the Swedish paper which broke the story, was accused of being complicit in the cover up, as they were tipped off six months ago and may never have published the information were it not for the Cologne sex attack cover-up scandal.
The DN editor has since admitted that they were tipped off, but claimed they could not publish anything because the police would not confirm the reports.
“We took it very seriously, had contact with the source and tried to move forward with the tip, but failed to get it confirmed”, he claimed in an editorial.