Police in the German city of Leipzig have come under fire after describing three suspects involved in an alleged gang rape case as having an “Arab phenotype”.
The case relates to an incident that took place on June 8th between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and saw a woman sexually assaulted and raped by three men near the city’s Central Station but did not report the incident to police for several weeks.
So far the perpetrators in the case have yet to be identified, and so the police reached out to the public for help to arrest the three men accused of raping the woman, said to be in her thirties, German magazine Focus reports.
According to the magazine, which repeated detailed descriptions of the three men, social media users, particularly on Twitter, slammed the police for using the term “Arabic phenotype” to describe the suspects in the case.
Merkel’s Germany: Seven Syrians Arrested After 18-year-old Gang Raped https://t.co/HoZIInQnCB
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 27, 2018
Police also told the magazine that they have seen a surge of xenophobic comments relating to the case, primarily on Facebook, commenting on the police post, many of which the police’s social media team have hidden.
While police have countered alleged xenophobic remarks on social media, they claim they have yet to receive any meaningful leads in the case that would help them positively identify the three men.
In several European countries, migrants are vastly overrepresented in rape cases compared to their overall share of the population, such as in Italy where migrants account for nearly half of the attackers in rape cases.
Migrants Account for Nearly Half of Rapists in Italy https://t.co/aCwImxamy5
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 7, 2019
Italy has also seen several high profile gang rape cases involving migrants, such as the rape and murder of 16-year-old Desirée Mariottini who was drugged and died of an overdose after being sexually abused by several African migrants in Rome in 2018.
Sweden has seen a similar trend in rapes involving migrants, with a report from February of this year claiming that individuals of a migration background make up the majority of convicted rapists.