Authorities in Sweden are investigating the potential cover-up of more than 30 documented claims of sexual assault which reportedly occurred in connection with the “We Are Sthlm” festival in 2014 and 2015.
The alleged cover-up prompted a strong statement from Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.
“It’s a double betrayal of these young women,” Lofven told the Expressen newspaper. “It has not been prosecuted and handled in the way we would wish. The second is that police did not inform or tell about these problems.”
The style of the attacks seemed to mirror a raft of assaults carried out on New Year’s Eve in Cologne. There, groups of men repeatedly broke out from a 1,000-man crowd gathered near the main train station in town to surround, harass and steal from women, according to Germany’s Spiegel Online.
Women throughout Europe reported similar assaults that night.
Are the latest controversies surrounding accepting refugees playing a role in the alleged cover-up? The Swedish Government must explain to these young women and their families as to why these atrocities were not taken with the level of severity it warranted.
In contrast – but equally important – it is necessary to ensure that these events are not used as propaganda towards rejecting refugees and ignoring human suffering.
Sadly, we have already seen an “I Told You So” response from American conservatives following Cologne.
We cannot afford this lack of human empathy, on either side of these crimes against humanity.