The Austrian newspaper ‘Krone’ yesterday published an interview with the 15-year-old victim of the Tulln gang rape, which took place at the end of April 2017. An Afghan and a Somali asylum seeker have been arrested in the case, while a third suspect is still at large.
The victim is opening up on Facebook:
“Yes, I am the victim. I am glad, that there are people who give me strength and help me rebuild myself again and again. I thank you.“
The girl furthermore relates that she now engages in self-harm through scratching and cutting her arms, in order to relieve her psychological pain.
But above all else, because the perpetrators have “destroyed her life”, she voices one wish:
“I want to see my tormentors severely punished.“
While messages of sympathy pour in for the young victim, the rumour mills are turning again. Were there attempts to cover-up the whole affair?
The accusations levelled at the police are harsh. The possibility of a ‘cover-up’ is discussed in the media. Clear above all else, is that the triple rape of the young Austrian citizen was not made public immediately after it happened at the end of April, but only in May, during the course of investigations, requiring samples from 59 men for comparison with samples found on the victim.
The police has defended its conduct by pointing out that it was necessary for the investigation. According to the spokesman for the police, Johann Baumschlager, “information was withheld from the public in order to not endanger the first phase of inquiries.” In particular, the police were anxious not to alert the perpetrators and scare them into running off while DNA-samples were collected. Baumschlager also states that police:
“responded immediately by posting more officers around the container villages were the asylum seekers are accommodated.“
But even after this first phase of investigations, the police was not forthcoming with information about the case, and for good reason: Because while two of the suspects are apprehended, the third is still at large. Seemingly in order not to stimulate his willingness to escape even further, the police remain reluctant to give out more information.
The severity of the case has lead to a response in politics. In view of the upcoming elections in October, it is clear that this case will be at the forefront of the tough battle on immigration which is to play such a pivotal role. In the words of FPÖ politician Hafenecker:
“Countless cases already show, that the mass-immigration of predominantly Muslim men under the cover of seeking asylum is becoming an uncontrollable danger. (…) Even for ‘tactical’ reasons, accepting this kind of security risks for women is unacceptable.“