Sunday, September 25, 2016

Austrian town enforces curfew on underage migrants after wave of sexual attacks

Authorities in the northern Austrian city of Wels have imposed a curfew on young migrants following a series of sexual assaults at a local wine and beer festival in early September, which were committed by Afghan minors.

Underage refugees living in the town of Wels are now allowed to leave their places of residence only until 8:00pm local time, the town’s mayor, Andreas Rabl, told RT, confirming information about the curfew. He also added that the migrants would face “strict sanctions if they break these rules.”

The move comes after underage asylum seekers from Afghanistan assaulted more than a dozen women at town festival called Welser Volksfest that was held between September 2 and September 11.

On September 4, five migrants from Afghanistan were detained over sexually harassing women during the festival after eight women reported sexual assaults to police.

Following the incident, Andreas Rabl demanded “zero tolerance” for such cases in a post on his Facebook page.

By the end of the festival, the number of sexual assaults had increased to 17, prompting a strict response from the authorities.

“We had the problem that the female visitors of the festival being the victims of sexual assaults. 17 women in the age between 18 and 50 years were abused during the festival in Wels. Their abusers were refugees from Afghanistan and these refugees were in the age between 15 and 16,” the mayor told RT, adding that one more assailant was 23 years old.

The mayor also said that the number of sexual attacks in his town is constantly growing, stressing that there had been 193 such complaints since the beginning of the year by August.

Rabl also said that the town authorities plan to implement additional security measures to tackle the issue “in the long term”, including increasing the number of police officers and the coordination between private security and police forces.

He also announced plans to set up surveillance cameras at festivals and in the town as well as to deploy more police officers in plain clothes at future public events.

At the same time, he stressed that Austria should conduct tougher refugee and migration policies to tackle this issue alongside other security threats that could be potentially posed by uncontrolled migrant influx.

“We have to make stricter rules for immigration in Austria and… to exercise stricter control over our borders,” Rabl told RT, adding that it makes “no sense when everybody can come here and we do not know who is coming.”