SWEDEN: A woman bound to a wheelchair was gang raped by unknown immigrant men at a toilet. Now the rapists are released: She didn't fight back hard enough or tried to run.
Sweden: Woman in wheelchair gang raped
The five men suspected of a gang rape against a wheelchair-bound woman have been released. The prosecutor's decision is based on a legal technicality which basically is about that the wheelchair-bound woman has not shown enough resistance, something that has been difficult, if not impossible, as she has to use a wheelchair.
She has never met the men before. She only needed to borrow a toilet after a night out, but when she is in there one of the men takes the opportunity and rapes her.
Then more men come and the abuse may have been going on for hours. As soon as she manages to get out of the apartment she alerts the police about what has happened.
Her version is supported by one of the men, the prosecution says to Aftonbladet. He admits that he had sexual intercourse with the woman, but he claims that, despite the circumstances, it has been voluntary. At a toilet. With unknown men. And further, Aftonbladet writes that the investigation strongly suggests that another one of the men had intercourse with the woman.
On top of that, the woman has in interrogation told that she said no to the men, says the woman's lawyer Staffan Fredriksson to Nyheter Idag.
- She says that she said no before each new assault.
But since the men deny that they committed any crime, it is a "word against word" situation. The prosecutor has to prove that she really did not want to have sex right there and then, with five unknown men at a toilet somewhere in Visby.
- The law is so. Unfortunately the victims, now we're talking about women for the most part, are in a worse position if they have not been fighting, screaming, beating, scratching and biting, sighs Staffan Fredriksson.
And just this bad legal position is what the wheelchair-bound woman has now ended up in. Since she is wheelchair-bound, she has not had the opportunity to try to defend herself or make sufficient resistance, or run away.
- She has surrendered. Partly because of her disability, she is not physically strong enough and not sufficiently mobile to be able to get away. And she was outnumbered too.
If there were scratch marks on any of the men, then she would have a stronger case?
- Yes, so it actually is, oddly enough.
This means that the woman's disability, that she did not have the physical ability to do more resistance, is a contributory factor to the men now being released. Prosecutor Mats Wihlborg, who took the decision to release the men, said to Aftonbladet:
- The act is not based on violence or threats but having exploited her special situation. The woman's story is not so robust that it can be the basis for an arrest. It differs too much from the suspects' story. Overall, I decided that it does not hold up for the arrest, he told the newspaper.
The woman has completely broken down after the rape and is nov receiving professional help.
Under Sharia law, rape victims have to provide four witnesses to the rape, or the victim risks being accused of adultery. This decision, Sweden, is not far behind.
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Anna Cecilia Malmström is a Swedish Politician currently serving as European Commissioner for Home Affairs in the Barroso Commission.