A German court has sentenced eight men, the majority being Middle Eastern refugees, to between three to five-and-a-half years for the brutal gang rape of a woman in 2018.
Eleven suspects were placed on trial, all aged between 18 and 30 during the time of the gang rape, eight of them from Syria, and the rest from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany.
The Freiburg court gave the main suspect in the case a five-and-a-half-year sentence, with seven others receiving sentences of three to four years each. Two more were handed down suspended sentences, and one of the defendants was acquitted, newspaper Le Figaro reports.
The facts of the case date back to October 2018 when an 18-year-old girl in Freiburg was drugged at a local nightclub before being led outside into a nearby area where she was repeatedly raped over an estimated two-hour period.
Germany: Migrant Crimes Concealed to ‘Avoid Stirring Up Prejudice’ https://t.co/43nRhMVToQ
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The alleged ringleader, a migrant named Majd H., had previous convictions for violent crimes and was well-known to the local police.
The case sparked a national outcry at the time, with populist Alternative for Germany MP Alice Weidel commenting on the matter in parliament, saying: “The brutalisation of our country by these scum can no longer be endured!”
Since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, there have been many high-profile cases of sexual abuse committed by asylum seekers in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
One of the most notorious cases took place in 2018 and saw Iraqi asylum seeker Ali Bashar rape and murder 14-year-old Jewish teen Susanna Feldman. Bashar fled Germany after killing Susanna, but was later arrested in Iraq and brought back to Germany where he was convicted of murder.
Earlier this year, a German federal court rejected an appeal by Bashar to reduce his 15-year sentence.