An 18-year-old Ukrainian refugee was raped by two other refugees in Düsseldorf on March 6th. Like the victim, the two alleged perpetrators, a 37-year-old Tunisian (previously believed to be from Iraq) and a 26-year-old Nigerian, were accommodated on the hotel ship Oscar Wilde. The accused men were holding Ukrainian passports and are now in police custody.
The victim arrived in Germany in the beginning of March and had been housed on the hotel ship in Düsseldorf along with 25 other refugees from Ukraine. The two perpetrators are alleged to have raped the 18-year-old one after the other. After the incident, the victim locked herself in her room and called a friend living in the city, who then reported the crime to the police. The victim subsequently left for Poland—she did not feel safe in Germany.
In addition to the suspected rape, police are also investigating how the alleged perpetrators obtained the Ukrainian passports. According to reports in BILD, German police are increasingly encountering migrants who do not come directly from Ukraine, but from Africa. Once they obtain Ukrainian passports, they simply get waved through to Germany.
“Harsh and swift punishment followed by deportation is the only language such offenders understand,” said Heiko Teggatz, head of the federal police union. He fears that “criminal gangs shamelessly exploit the plight of people from Ukraine.”
Andrea Lindholz of the CSU has demanded that the police ensure the protection of Ukrainian women in the future by carrying out checks in refugee accommodations.
But it is not just female refugees who are affected by sexual violence. In another refugee shelter in Düsseldorf, a Ukrainian man with Moroccan roots was presumed to have been drugged and then sexually abused by two Ukrainians with Moroccan passports.
Meanwhile German federal police are urgently warning refugees against accepting offers of help from persons bypassing official channels. According to the police, fraudsters are also roaming Berlin’s main train station. The Berlin police tweeted:
At the Berlin #Hbf some people behaving suspiciously regarding offers of accommodation to refugees from #Ukraine. Please contact #Polizei immediately if you are offered money for accommodation or see people doing so.
Some Ukrainian women have reported being offered money if they agreed to spend the night with the ‘helpers.’ Official refugee support volunteers and helpers also report that men have tried to lure women and children to their cars, sometimes with sweets or flowers. There have also been reports of refugees being forcibly dragged into cars. Official helpers and other witnesses have observed incidents such as these and reported them to the police. According to reports, police have already expelled a number of men from the station.