A group of up to 1,000 men of “Arab background” sexually assaulted dozens of women New Year’s Eve in Cologne, Germany, according to police. The assaults, however, were not confirmed for days, leading to public accusations of a cover-up.
Cologne Police Chief Wolfgang Albers confirmed Monday as many as 60 reports were filed by women sexually assaulted by a large mob of “Arab or North African men” during celebrations in Cologne New Year’s Eve. Albers stated the claims were in fact true.
“There was a very large number of sexual assaults there – and in a massive way. Women were grabbed and attacked,” said Albers during a press conference Monday.”The crimes were committed by a group of people who, from appearance, were largely from the north African or Arab world.”
As many as 80 women were assaulted and robbed by the mob, according to police reports. Some women reported being encircled by large groups of men who had “fingers on every orifice.” One report claimed a woman was raped.
The several day delay of confirmation of the attacks from officials roused suspicions of a cover-up. Anabel Schunke wrote on Huffington Post’s German language site Monday accusing police officials and public media outlets of covering up the issue entirely.
The attacks appeared to be coordinated, according to a report by German news outlet The Local. One group of men allegedly threw firecrackers into a large gathering of people celebrating near a famous cathedral located in the heart of Cologne, while another group of men allegedly began sexually assaulting and robbing women while the crowds were distracted by the firecrackers. It is not confirmed, however, the two groups were working together.
Five arrests were made in response to the allegations, however it is unclear if anyone was charged.