Gang of 40 sexually assaulted girls - Only one arrested - as the Gothia Cup, the biggest youth football tournament in the world, kicks off in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The Islamic gang-rape 'Taharrush' phenomenon which sees women surrounded by groups of men in crowds and sexually assaulted, has now spread to Europe. The Arabic term 'taharrush' roughly translates to 'collective harassment.' It refers to sexual assaults carried out by groups of men in public places surrounded by dozens of attackers, lone women are groped or raped. The phenomenon was first seen in 2011 when a reporter, Lara Logan, was attacked
and endured an assault while reporting on the protests in Egypt. Police say attacks in Cologne marked Europe's first instance of taharrush.
The Gothia Cup is the biggest youth football tournament in the world, held annually in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Competing youth teams from throughout the world enter the competition.
And large crowds in Sweden lately, seem to attract Middle-Eastern "Taharrush players."
Three girls were surrounded and sexually assaulted in the crowd after the Gothia Cup opening ceremony at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg. According to one of the girls' mother, they had to fight to protect themselves, she told SVT
- It was very traumatic for them, she says.
The three 16-year-olds spent the evening in Gothenburg, and before they would go home they decided to go to the Ullevi Stadium and watch the crowd at the opening ceremony of the Gothia Cup that took place there.
- When people began to leave the Ullevi, a bunch of guys approached them and started talking. The girls replied nicely but short, as one does when one meets strangers, says one of the girls' mother to SVT.
The gang, which the girls say consisted of 30 to 40 teenagers and an adult man who seemed to belong to the same group, asked to take pictures with the girls, but when the girls tried to leave, they were not allowed.
- The group instead came closer and clung to the girls. They began to touch them, tried to get their hands under their clothes. They took on their gender. They kissed them and my daughter got the grown man's tongue in her mouth, says the mother.
- They panicked and fought to protect themselves.
According to the mother, a policeman heard the girls' cries for help and came to the rescue. The man was apprehended, but the youths involved in the assault were not charged.
- It is true that the girls stated that there were several guys in the group who were assaulting them, but it was too difficult for them to point them out, so there are no more charges, said Thomas Fuxborg, spokesperson of the police.
When the girls came to the police station, they called their parents.
- My first feeling was anger, something like this to happen. Anger over that girls can not move outside, not even in a friendly context, says the mother.
She feels that her daughter and her friends for a long time have had difficulties to move outside without being molested. She says that her daughter is usually ready to take pictures with her mobile phone for evidence if something happens.
- We sat up late into the night and talked about this and what it will mean. This will of course be restricting girls' lives, she says.
Of course it is we who have to adapt.