Austrian policemen are investigating six Afghan refugees for sexual assaults on 18 women during the night of New Year celebrations in the western province of Tyrol, as declared a police officer involved in the case on Monday, quoted by Reuters.
One of the accused men confessed his act of cruelty and apologized, but the other five defendants are denying the allegations, said Ernst Kranebitter, stressing that the police did not make any arrests yet because they are still awaiting the completion of the investigation.
One of the assaulted women has reported that the attackers have touched her and tried to kiss her on New Year’s Eve, while everybody was waiting for the concert and fireworks inside or near the central market in Innsbruck, full of people at that time.
Some of the victims managed to photograph the criminals with their mobile phones, which helped the police to find those six men, aged between 18 and 22 years, who have previously lived in the same migrants’ shelter, said Kranebitter.
In Germany, last year, hundreds of women have been sexually assaulted and robbed at New Year celebrations in Koln. Innsbruck attacks occurred despite the increased presence of Austrian police, a result of the similar incidents from Germany and the truck bombing last month in Berlin’s Christmas market.
The interior ministry said that Austria has received about 130,000 asylum applications since 2015, when more than a million migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe, many of whom were trying to escape the conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan.