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German Court Convicts 11 Men, some refugees, over 2018 Gang Rape of 18-Year-Old

11 men, mostly Syrian refugees, have been found guilty of the gang rape of a woman outside a German nightclub.

The group of men was convicted of rape Thursday at the end of a year-long trial over a gang assault on an 18-year-old woman in 2018.

The case, in which most of the 11 defendants were Syrian, added to tensions in Germany over migration.

The 2018 attack in the city of Freiburg fuelled anti-foreigner sentiment, with protests by the far right.

Prosecutors say the woman was offered an Ecstasy tablet in a disco in the southwestern city of Freiburg and her drink was spiked with an unknown substance, leaving her unable to fend off the assailants.

She reported that several men later raped her outside the disco.

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The lead defendant was sentenced to five and a half years for the attack – which lasted for more than two hours – while seven others received sentences of up to four years.

Two men received suspended sentences for failing to provide assistance.

One man was acquitted.

Eight of the men on trial were refugees from Syria, while the other three came from Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany.

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After the attack – which came following other high-profile attacks committed by immigrants – the anti-Islam Alternative for Germany took to the streets to protest against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s liberal policy towards migrants.

Ms Merkel received both widespread praise and criticism for her “open door” policy. She has since admitted that Germany was ill-prepared for the influx.

Source: BBC news