The Independent has drawn attention to the fact that etiquette leaflets advising migrants not to grope women while in public swimming pools were issued in 2013, in a bid to suggest that the migrant crisis has not led to a rise in sexual harassment.
However the bid may have backfired, as it only really offers proof that German officials were well aware that migrants were liable to grope German girls before they opened the borders to more than a million people last year.
The leaflets, which feature etiquette advice in cartoon form, came to light during reports in mid-January that men over the age of 18 were being banned from public swimming pools in Bornheim, Germany after six people filed complaints “over the sexually offensive behaviour of some migrant men at the pool”.
Images of the leaflets, including a close up of one cartoon frame which features a red cross over a hand reaching out to touch a woman in a bathing costume have since been circulating on social media, and have featured prominently in reports on the attacks and others like them.
But despite the vile nature of the molestation on girls as young as 12, The Independent has sought to distance the leaflets from the migrant attacks, writing: “rather than being produced in response to the spate of sex attacks on women on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, a Munich city spokeswoman told the DPA news agency the leaflets have been around since 2013, amid general concerns about anti-social behaviour across its 18 public pools.”
The suggestion is the leaflets are intended as a general etiquette for everyone, and are merely intended to promote “messages of tolerance.”
In fact, that information was included in the earliest reports, such as in The Local, which published an article on January 15 stating: “A Munich city spokesman told DPA that officials conceived the leaflets in 2013 after increasing numbers of problems in the city’s 18 public swimming pools.”
The Local then goes on to quote a spokesman as saying: “The ground rule of respect for women – whatever clothing they’re wearing – is unfortunately not respected by all our swimmers. That’s why there is an explicit indication about it.”
Astonishingly, The Independent has brazenly attempted to pass off the exact same quote as a brand new statement recently issued by Munich officials to distance the leaflets from the migrant attacks.
In fact it is The Independent which has left crucial facts unreported, namely that the leaflets were issued in a number of languages including Arabic, French, Pashto and Somali. The leaflets, therefore were clearly produced for migrants – and the German authorities knew that the migrants were attacking girls as far back as 2013.