Two teenage girls alleged they were sexually assaulted and harassed by a group of men during Berlin's street festival, the Carnival of Cultures. Berlin police detained some of the attackers, but released them after taking their details.
The girls, aged 17 and 18, were dancing on a stage during the annual street parade on Sunday (15 May) in the German capital when they were mobbed by a group of around 10 men, The Local reported, citing a police report. The men allegedly sexually assaulted the girls, one of whom even lost her mobile phone during the incident.
A witness reportedly filmed the instance when one of the men was holding the girl in a "strange" way. The witness said the girls were looking frightened and that one of the attackers reacted aggressively when he noticed they were being filmed.
Police reportedly confirmed on Twitter that they had detained three of the accused – one aged 14 and the other two aged 17 – who were already known to police. Police took their details and released them.
Police are continuing investigations to see if there were any other cases of physical abuse during the carnival and have requested people to make a complaint using the Internetwache online interface if they had faced or witnessed assaults during the event.
Apart from the reported case of physical assault, there were two incidents of thefts by "hug scammers". Plainclothes officers apprehended the culprits – two men in both the theft cases.
Following the Cologne sexual assault incidents during New Year Eve festivities, which sullied the reputation of German police, the country's police have been extra cautious to prevent a repetition of such instances. During the Sunday carnival, security was tight and police officers were reportedly extra alert and vigilant.