German police have confirmed that reports of mass sexual assaults on women in Frankfurt on New Year’s Eve allegedly committed by dozens of drunken Arab Muslim refugees were made up and baseless.
The reports, which initially appeared in Germany’s Bild newspaper, were reported worldwide and used to stoke up Islamophobia.
Bild has subsequently apologised and the original article has been taken down.
One of the supposed victims, Irina A., 27, told Bild: “They [the migrants] grabbed me under the skirt, between my legs, my breasts, everywhere….More and more of these guys came. Their hands were everywhere.”
Her words were supported by Jan Mai, a local pub owner, who said that a mob of Arabs was “highly aggressive, there was shouting and hand gestures.”
“When I came in, the whole place was full with a group of around 50 Arabs. They did not speak German, drank our guests’ drinks and danced towards them. The women asked me for help because they were being attacked.”
Police started an investigation into the alleged incidents and on Tuesday released a report stating that the allegations of mass sexual assaults had been invented.
“There were no massive mob-like attacks by masses of refugees in Fressgass [Street]. The allegations were groundless,” police said.
In the article several people “reported about sexual assaults, bodily injuries, thefts and extremely aggressive behaviour of masses of refugees. Media interest in these descriptions was very high. The police were not aware of these circumstances,” the statement said.
According to police, “interviews with alleged witnesses, guests and employees led to major doubts with the version of events that had been presented.
“One of the alleged victims was not even in Frankfurt at the time the allegations are said to have taken place,” the report said.