An update on January 9th on the rapefugee crisis in Cologne and other places. What has happened, has become even more clear, no thanks to the initial mass media silence. It appears that on New Year's eve, around 1000 men, many drunk and mainly of North African or Arab origin, went on a rampage firing fireworks into the crowd, including at native German families with children as reported by a Dutch comedian who had not seen such cruelty up close yet [B], maimed a girl by putting firecracker into her clothes [J], put a firecracker in the pram of a three year old [C], fired fireworks at the Dom of Cologne [K], threw fireworks near and/or at the police, stole personal belongings of women, ripped off clothes when possible and sexually molested and in some cases raped women. All this in the span of a few hours. The number of police reports of women in Cologne has now reached 379, most involve theft, around 40% also involve sexual assault and the number of rapes stays at 2. The number of perpetrators of theft and sexual assault is estimated to have been 180 out of the around 1000 men.
|Cologne's Main Station or Merkel's sex paradise?|
As mentioned in my previous post, this is on an unprecedented scale in Germany and even at the October beer festival in Munich, there were last time around 20 reports of sexual assault despite millions of attendees, countless drunks and an event duration of seventeen days.
Foreign origin of the perpetrators known earlier
In Die Zeit [A] testimony appeared of a police officer that contradicts the narrative of the pro refugee mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, who said that refugees had nothing to do with this. The police officer on the other hand said that of the about 70 people he controlled, hardly any could communicate in German. The majority of these 70 could only identify themselves with a paper by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Among them were many North Africans or Arabs.
While the Cologne police further asserted to have only heard about the sexual assaults on women after midnight, an internal report of a federal policeman, describes the events different: he and his colleagues were already informed by "many troubled passersby" of "brawls, robberies, sexual assaults". The women had to run through a gauntlet formed "by the heavily intoxicated male masses, as you can not describe it." Striking was the "very high number of migrants in the police action".
At times, it was not possible to include criminal charges, the report said. Policemen were in some places deliberately hindered by the crowd from helping victims or gaining access to witnesses or perpetrators. When the police cleared the square in front of the cathedral at midnight, violent offenders had shelled the officials with fireworks.
Cologne police did not initially comment on the report of the federal police. The police top concealed in communications the origin of the controlled men. This and the general handling of the case has led to the sacking of Cologne police chief Wolfgang Abers, 60, who said on January 5th that the police had no knowledge about the perpetrators, despite probably being informed as early as the morning of New Year's Day of the opposite. Mayor Henriette Reker is still holding onto her well paid political post as mayor, but her position is also under pressure due to her initial claims that refugees had nothing to do with this and due to her suggestion for a code of conduct for women [N].
Initial cover up of perpetrator origin by the mainstream mediaAs mentioned already in my previous blog post, although this story was initially and quickly reported by local newspapers, this story did take some time to make it to national and consequently international news. It took Die Zeit four days to report on the event. [L] The article on Die Zeit originally didn't mention either the men were described as mainly of North African and Arab origin, due to press code directive 12.1: "In reports on criminal offenses, the religious affiliation, ethnic background or minority group of the suspects or perpetrators, shall be mentioned only if there is a solid reason for understanding the reported events." You read that right: censorship is the norm in Germany. The article was edited one day later to include that information.
Hans-Peter Freidrich, a former interior minister, accused the media of imposing a “news blackout” and operating a “code of silence” over negative news about immigrants. The ZDF public broadcaster issued a public apology after it failed to include the assaults in its main evening new broadcast on January 5th (!). [M]
Who were the perpetrators?According to the most recent press reports at the time of writing [I], federal police in Germany have arrested 31 suspects, 18 of them asylum seekers. Among the suspects are nine Algerians, eight Moroccans, five Iranians, four Syrians, two Germans and one citizen each from Iraq, Serbia and the United States. Phones belonging to some of the victims were also found back in refugee camps, according to Der Spiegel [H].
Federal police reportAccording to a federal police report quoted in Der Spiegel [G], officers encountered many distraught, crying, frightened pedestrians, particularly women and girls. They reported "fights, thefts, sexual assaults against women, etc." Groups of male migrants were repeatedly named as perpetrators. Identifying those responsible - especially the perpetrators of sexual assaults - "was unfortunately no longer possible." The reason: "Security forces were unable to get all of the incidents, assaults, crimes, etc. under control. There were simply too many happening at the same time." Police were frustrated at their inability to help each victim. At times, it wasn't even possible to record all of the complaints that were being lodged.
The report lists several examples of police officers' experiences :
- Officers were hindered from pushing their way through to people calling for help by tight clusters of men.
- A man is quoted as saying: "I'm a Syrian! You have to treat me kindly! Mrs. Merkel invited me."
- Witnesses were threatened when they provided the names of perpetrators.
- People reportedly demonstratively tore up residence permits in front of the police, grinned and said: "You can't touch me. I'll just go back tomorrow and get a new one." The report did not, however, confirm the authenticity of the documents.
- Orders for people to leave the premises were ignored; taking repeat offenders into custody was not possible due to lack of resources.
- After track closures due to overcrowding, people simply forced their way over adjacent platforms and train tracks back to the closed platform.
- Physical fights broke out as trains were being boarded; it was "every man for himself."
Did the police act correctly?
While the heads of police may have concealed things for political reasons, officers in the field feel to have acted correctly. This appears from an interview with a riot police officer that was published by Die Zeit [D]. When he arrived at 22 o'clock to serve on New Year's Eve, he was told that in front of the station around 500 people" were "celebrating". That was the phrase. He had no idea in what direction the night would still be developing. There came still more men and the mood became more aggressive. Firecrackers were thrown at people. They were concerned that there would be severe damage if the situation escalated at midnight.
That's why they moved in with all forces and together with the colleagues from the Federal Police. The task was difficult. They moved only meter by meter from the dome. Some of the men fought back and lit firecrackers. When the police asked why, they immediately lit four more firecrackers. Only at midnight did they manage to clear the square somewhere and he allegedly became aware of the sexual assaults only at around one o'clock.
The officer claims reinforcements were pretty much impossible to get. Weekdays from 6-22 o'clock there are always a hundred in reserve, on holidays such as New Year's Eve only 10-18 o'clock. And by 18 clock everything was still quiet. That is why colleagues would have had to be called over all the way from North Rhine-Westphalia. That would have taken hours and they had no protective clothing. Of course, it might have been possible to have put on duty more forces from the outset. But there were already about 90 riot police instead of the usual 40 on a normal New Year's Eve. Even more was felt to have been an exaggeration.
To be fair, the situation IS unusual and has never been experienced in Germany before and neither has the level of disrespect for the police.
So what will happen to the sexual offenders?
Most likely nothing, as pointed out in an article on Die Zeit. Despite Germany having tough laws on sexual offenses, the problem is blaming a specific crime on a specific individual. When the crime is committed out of groups, it becomes hard to prove who did what. A criminal expert points out:
It is further pointed out that refugees can only be sent back when the jail sentence would exceed three years. The commentators on this article point out that when refugees are "faced with death" in their home countries even that might become impossible. Other commentators point out that then at least they might take German police, German law and German customs seriously.The statements of the victims and bystander witnesses are the most important evidence. But witnesses are also the least reliable evidence, because the human memory has weaknesses. In the Cologne case this is tricky, because in addition to the offenders, even victims and witnesses may have been intoxicated. Also a shock situation may reduce memory. In addition, the witnesses generally need to identify the suspects from a series of photos without any doubt, on which similar-looking people can be seen. That might just result in confusion due to the poor lighting conditions at night and at first glance often similar-looking people to the perpetrator to confusion. If doubts remain in the end, the court must acquit the defendant - and this is rightly so.
Was this pre-planned?
The scale of the events and the simultaneous attacks in other cities might lead one to at least suspect the possibility. It is quite telling that the police found [F] a note translating some Arabic sentences to poor German. Included are the sentences: "I have a surprise", "Fuck", "I want to fuck", "I want to fuck you", "I fuck you death", "I want to kiss you to death" and "I'm joking with you". This clearly proves premeditation of at least one person. I doubt whether he was joking though.
|Note of an enthusiastic new arrival studying German|