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A gang rape was reported to the police in Freiburg, Germany on 14 October 2018, and made public on 26 October 2018. Nine men were subsequently arrested.[1][2][3][4][5]

2018 Freiburg gang rape
Native name Gruppenvergewaltigung in Freiburg
DateOctober 13, 2018 (2018-10-13)
LocationGermany Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany



Two years before the incident, a murder of a female student committed by a refugee in Freiburg became one of the catalysts for a national debate on the immigration policy.[6][7] Police stated that crime is regularly reported at the location of the latest incident.[8]

According to police chief Rotzinger, whereas robbery and street crime had decreased since 2017, sexual assaults had increased. He stated that about 70% of cases were solved and foreigners constituted 50% of the suspects, whereas their share of Freiburg's population was 17%.[9]


According to the police, on 13 October 2018, an 18-year-old woman was drugged in a discotheque in a remote industrial area along Hans-Bunte-Straße by a 22-year-old Syrian Kurd and then raped in front of the building by others, later identified as six more Syrians and one German; the accused were aged between 19 and 29.[10][11][12] Police say that a man bought the woman—a student who was present with a female friend—a drink which apparently contained a tranquilizing substance, making her defenseless, then dragged the woman into nearby bushes and raped her, then left her there and returned to the club to call his friends.[6]

The woman filed a complaint with the police the next day.[13][12] Eight suspects were soon taken into custody.[14][1]


One suspect was identified from DNA traces found on the victim; further evaluation of traces from the victim and the scene was carried out.[8] The police sought more suspects, using a 13-person investigation team. One witness claimed that up to 15 men had raped the woman.[14][13]

Eight men were initially arrested for the crime, seven Syrians and one with German nationality.[15][16] Three of the arrested had presented themselves on the Internet bearing firearms.[17]

The main suspect was already targeted by an undercover investigation[17] for violent crime and drug trafficking, and he was a suspect in another rape case. Police had planned to arrest him on 24 October.[6]

DNA traces indicated there were two further unidentified suspects who were not among the arrested.[17][18]

A ninth suspect, an 18-year-old man from Syria, was detained on 29 November in a refugee center in Freiburg, after traces of his DNA were found on the victim's clothing. He was in the discotheque on the night of the crime; police took a saliva sample from him. The ninth suspect had come to Germany via the politically debated family reunification provision. Police continued to search for a tenth suspect whose DNA was also found on the victim.[5]


The trial of eleven suspects began on 26 June 2019 at the Landgericht Freiburg [de].[19]


Martin Horn [de], the mayor of Freiburg, stated: "There is no tolerance for despicable acts". He promised to bring the perpetrators to justice swiftly.[2] Thomas Strobl (CDU), the Interior Minister of Baden-Württemberg said: "If the allegations prove true, we have to deal with a vile act that leaves no one cold." Officials called for calm, stating that "It is an act by individuals, which should not be generalized".[8]

On Monday 29 October, a protest organized by the right-wing-populist party AfD/Junge Alternative was outnumbered by counter-protesters[who?] and the AfD event was re-routed as counter-protesters blocked their way. These tensions were similar[citation needed] to those in the aftermath of the murder of Maria Ladenburger by an Afghan migrant. The protest and counter-protest were attended by just below 2000 people.[20][21]

ZDF presenter Dunja Hayali demanded a "new and open debate" around the asylum and deportation laws because of the case. "That deportation procedures take so long that they cannot legally be implemented for 1,000 reasons and more is a situation that cannot continue", said Hayali, adding that her statement was not to be understood as xenophobic.[22]

Boris Palmer (Alliance 90/The Greens), Tübingen's Lord Mayor, demanded that criminal refugees have their freedom of movement severely restricted, and proposed accommodating them in small asylum centres in remote areas without a connection to public transport. The current German laws would allow this according to Palmer ("Wohnsitzauflage", condition of fixed abode).[23] A few days later, Winfried Kretschmann (Alliance 90/The Greens), the Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, also stated that he wants to keep refugees who commit crimes in groups away from major cities and distribute them in the country, saying the idea of sending some of them "into the pampas" was "not wrong", and "To put it bluntly, the most dangerous thing that human evolution has produced is hordes of young men."[24]

CDU General Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said that after a deportation, criminals should be refused re-entry not only to Germany but also to the whole Schengen area for life, mentioning the gang rape in Freiburg.[25]

The interior minister of Baden-Württemberg, Thomas Strobl, was called to the committee of the interior (German: Innenausschuss) of the Bundestag to explain why the main suspect had not been apprehended despite there being warrants for his arrest (German: Haftbefehle).[26]

The two-week delay in the incident in Freiburg becoming public along with the delayed reporting of another gang rape case in Munich where asylum seekers were suspects started a debate as to whether the late reporting was deliberate. Criminologist Christian Pfeiffer said that such delays are not politically motivated but reflect the fact that group crimes take longer to process where a network of suspects is involved, and even longer when police are forced to use interpreters.[27]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b German Police Arrest 7 Syrians, 1 German in Drug-Rape Case, New York Times, 26 October 2018
  2. ^ a b Germany: 8 arrested for rape in Freiburg, Deutsche Welle, 26 October 2018
  3. ^ German police arrest 7 Syrians, 1 German in drug-rape case,, 26 October 2018
  4. ^ "Gruppenvergewaltigung in Freiburg: Polizei sucht nach weiteren Verdächtigen". Focus Online (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  5. ^ a b "Neunter Tatverdächtiger festgenommen". (in German). 2018-11-30. ISSN 0174-4917. Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  6. ^ a b c "Hauptverdächtiger soll weitere Frau vergewaltigt haben". (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-05. Das als linksliberal geltende Freiburg war schon nach dem Mord an einer Studentin vor rund zwei Jahren in die Schlagzeilen geraten. Ein junger Flüchtling war daraufhin festgenommen und im März verurteilt worden. Die damalige Tat sowie weitere Verbrechen in der Region hatten eine Debatte über die deutsche Flüchtlingspolitik ausgelöst
  7. ^ ONLINE, SPIEGEL. ""Macht euch nicht wehrlos"". SPIEGEL Plus - Das Premium-Angebot des SPIEGEL (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-05. Der Polizeipräsident von Freiburg im Breisgau, Bernhard Rotzinger, 62, über die Sicherheitslage in der Stadt nach einer mutmaßlichen Gruppenvergewaltigung. // SPIEGEL: Die mutmaßliche Gruppenvergewaltigung einer 18-Jährigen durch mehrere geflüchtete Syrer und einen deutschen Staatsbürger hat bundesweit für Aufsehen gesorgt. Wie sicher ist Ihre Stadt? // Rotzinger: Die Sicherheitslage in Freiburg ist stabil. Aber wir müssen akzeptieren, dass das Sicherheitsgefühl auch von Emotionen bestimmt wird. Es gibt bei dieser Thematik das Gefühl, und es gibt die Faktenlage. // Rotzinger: Wir haben nach dem Mord an Maria L. durch den Fluchtling ... usw
  8. ^ a b c „Eine abscheuliche Tat, die niemanden kaltlässt“, Die Welt, 27 October 2018
  9. ^ Zeitung, Badische. "Gruppenvergewaltigung in Freiburg: Es gibt nun zehn Verdächtige – und neue Ermittlungsergebnisse - Freiburg - Badische Zeitung" (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b Acht Männer nach Vergewaltigung von 18-Jähriger festgenommen, Tagesspiegel, 26 October 2018
  13. ^ a b Gruppenvergewaltigung in Freiburg: Polizei sucht weitere Mittäter, Badische Zeitung, 27 October 2018
  14. ^ a b Polizei sucht nach Vergewaltigung mögliche weitere Täter, Die Welt, 27 October 2018
  15. ^ "Fribourg : huit hommes arrêtés pour un viol collectif". France 3 Grand Est (in French). Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  16. ^ "Viol collectif: le cauchemar a duré 4 longues heures". Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  17. ^ a b c "Polizei: Hätten Tat verhindern können". (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  18. ^ "Two more suspects being sought after alleged gang rape in Freiburg". The Local. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  19. ^ Online, FOCUS. "Gruppenvergewaltigung in Freiburg: Prozess gegen elf junge Männer beginnt". FOCUS Online (in German). Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  20. ^ "Germany: Protesters march after Freiburg gang rape". Deutsche Welle. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  21. ^ Zeitung, Badische. "Live-Ticker zum Nachlesen: Tausende demonstrieren in der Freiburger Innenstadt nach Gruppenvergewaltigung - Freiburg - Badische Zeitung". (in German). Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  22. ^ Nach Gruppenvergewaltigung: Dunja Hayali fordert Asyldebatte, Hamburger Abendblatt, 28 October 2018
  23. ^ Boris Palmer will gewaltbereite Asylbewerber isolieren, Die Zeit, 28 October 2018
  24. ^ Kretschmann will Straftäter von Städten fernhalten,
  25. ^ Kandidatin: Kramp-Karrenbauer mit harter Linie gegen straffällige Asylbewerber, Berliner Zeitung, 8 November 2018
  26. ^ Soldt, Rüdiger. "Vergewaltigung in Freiburg: Wieder ein schreckliches Verbrechen". FAZ.NET (in German). ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  27. ^ "Gruppenvergewaltigungen nehmen zu". (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-12. Sechs junge Afghanen sollen in München eine 15 Jahre alte Schülerin vergewaltigt haben. Wie auch schon die Gruppenvergewaltigung durch mindestens acht Männer in Freiburg - darunter sieben Syrer - wurde der Münchner Vorfall erst jetzt nach Wochen bekannt. Aber warum so spät? Sollte da etwas verschwiegen werden?