Mostly Syrians have been arrested in connection with the rape of an 18-year-old woman. Police said that seven of the suspects were Syrian men aged 19 to 29, and one was a German native aged 25.
Authorities on Friday said they found two further sets of DNA traces that do not match any of the others suspects’ DNA.
“We have to assume that we are looking at two additional suspects,” Bernd Belle from Freiburg’s criminal police told a news conference.
The victim reportedly met one of the men at a nightclub in Freiburg on the night of October 14. He is suspected of having spiked the girl’s drink. Then eight men took turns raping her near the club in a bush area. The victim said she was defenceless at the time.
She is currently receiving medical and psychological treatment, but according to police she is “stable”.
Worse still, police described the main suspect, a 22-year-old from Syria, as a multiple offender and he is also suspected of being involved in another case of sexual assault.
Three of the suspects in custody had posed with weapons on the internet. “We suspect that they might be affiliated with the YPG or PKK,” Belle said, referring to the Kurdish militia and extremist organisation respectively.
The protest was organised by the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Stefan Räpple, an AfD member of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament, said it was “to send a signal that things cannot go on like this,” reported Spiegel. But they were met by a counter-protest denouncing “Nazis”.
Counter-demonstrators were strangely blaming those worried about the terrible crime instead of the real perpetrators. The counter-demonstrators attempted to drown Räpple out, chanting: “All of Freiburg hates the AfD.”
One said: “Terrible things have happened. Nevertheless, these crimes should not be applied to all refugees.” They planned to release red heart balloons against the AfD.
On Facebook after the event in Freiburg, AfD groups in the area posted videos thanking demonstrators for coming out to march for “the security in our country”.
AfD supporters reminded their audience that the safety of German residents had been compromised by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open border policy. There is a disproportionate number of criminal suspects in Germany who are immigrants.
The organiser of the AfD demonstration accused the counter-demonstrators of being jointly responsible for the gang rape: “You have blood on your hands and you helped rape her.”
Members of the AfD youth organisation Junge Alternative (JA) marched at the front of the protest carrying a poster which read: “Protect borders, save lives”. The situation with migrants is “particularly bad”, Reimond Hoffmann, deputy JA chairman in Baden-Württemberg and co-initiator of the demonstration, told Spiegel.
He said that mass deportations of migrants from Germany is the only option in the light of the actions of the “criminal” federal government in Berlin.
On Friday the state’s interior minister, Thomas Strobl, told a press conference that he would be sending additional police forces to the city.
Annette Widmann-Mau, the German government’s migration commissioner, has proposed that recently arrived migrant men be given courses teaching them not to rape women.