Five teenage asylum seekers from Afghanistan have been charged with the rape of another young Afghan male at knife-point in the Swedish city of Uppsala. The alleged victim, who is under 15, went to police to report the hour-long ordeal, parts of which are reported to have been filmed and posted on social media by the suspects, who are said to have known him.
The five suspects are all aged 16 or 17 and all arrived in Sweden as unaccompanied minors, as did their alleged victim, prosecutor Johan Stromback told Associated Press (AP). The five deny the charges, with some saying they committed no crime or were too drunk to remember anything. At least one claimed not to have been present during the alleged assault, in which the boy was allegedly punched, kicked, bitten and spat on as well as being raped.
The attack is said to have taken place on the night of 24-25 October in a wooded area near the city, where the five are said to have dragged the child. According to court papers, published by Mail Online, the suspects are suspected of "grabbing the defendant, covering his mouth and dragging or carrying him into a woodland area".
If convicted the five accused will be sentenced to juvenile detention, after which they would be deported and barred from returning to the country. They will appear at Uppsala District Court.
A defence lawyer for one of the accused, Stefan Wallin, told AP: "He has no recollection of the events because of alcohol intoxication." No other defence lawyer has yet responded to requests for comment.
Sweden has one of the highest rates of immigration in Europe, but there has been a growing backlash against the problems — ′real and perceived — that mass migration can bring. A number of low-income neighbourhoods in some cities are said to be virtual no-go zones for outsiders, and sex crime has reportedly rocketed in the last few years. However, many Swedes welcome migration into a country which has traditionally been one of the least diverse places on earth.