Seven men have been arrested in Finland accused of repeatedly raping a ten-year-old girl in a grooming case that has both outraged and shocked the normally quiet Scandinavian country.
The girl has allegedly been faced with multiple sexual assaults over months in the suspects’ homes in Oulu in northern Finland.
The men, aged 20 to 40, have all arrived in Finland as migrants or refugees in recent years, and according to local media sources they made groomed her initially over Social Media. Oulu is a harbour city in north-west Finland, home to some 202,000 people. Of Finland’s population of just over 5.5million, some 321,500 people are born in a foreign country.
A Police Spokesperson said:
For young people, meeting a foreign-heritage man [a person whose parents are not Finnish or who themselves are not Finnish] can happen spontaneously, for example during a party.
Someone could offer them something “nice”, like tobacco or alcohol, which can start a nasty chain of events.
The suspects all knew each other, and that the young victim is not related to any of the alleged rapists.
The case has prompted the Oulu Police to issue a warning to the public about ‘foreign men’ contacting underaged girls on social media.
The Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä took to Twitter to express his shock and anger, tweeting that ‘A sexual offence against a child is an inhumane act, and its wickedness cannot be comprehended.’
President Sauli Niinistö branded the crimes an ‘evil’ which must be fought in an interview with a Finnish newspaper. However neither politician or the media in Finland are yet talking about the suspect’s ethnicities or backgrounds which is an all too familiar picture in liberal Scandinavia.
Compared to neighbouring Sweden, which has seen a huge influx of immigrants. Finland had a low intake of migrants and refugees during the recent European migrant crisis. Last year, 31,797 persons moved to Finland, down from 34,905 in 2016 and 28 746 in 2015.
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