A Nigerian and his Iraqi counterpart have been arrested by the police for allegedly gang-raping an 18-year-old Ukrainian refugee onboard a German hotel ship being used to house people fleeing the Russia-waged war.
According to Bild, the victim was reportedly assaulted by two men, one after the other on the Oscar Wilde hotel ship. The suspects, aged 37 and 26, also hold Ukrainian citizenship.
Police launched an investigation into the alleged assault which took place on March 6 and arrested the two men, who remain in custody, Dusseldorf prosecutor’s office confirmed on Monday.
Alongside paying guests, more than 25 refugees were staying on the hotel ship at the time of the alleged incident after fleeing the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine last month, Daily Mail reports.
Since the start of the Russian invasion on 24 February, more than three million people, including over one million children, have fled Ukraine for other states in Europe, according to the UN.
It is almost entirely women and children making up the number who are fleeing across Ukraine’s borders and concerns are growing on how to protect the most vulnerable refugees from being targeted by human traffickers or becoming victims to other forms of exploitation.
It is at least the second alleged rape of a teenage Ukrainian refugee after a man was arrested in Poland last week on suspicion of assaulting a 19-year-old who had fled the conflict.
A 49-year-old man was detained in Wroclaw, Poland, on Thursday after he allegedly lured the young woman in with the offer of help over the internet.
The suspect could face up to 12 years in prison for the ‘brutal crime,’ authorities said. ‘He met the girl by offering his help via an internet portal.’
‘She escaped from war-torn Ukraine, did not speak Polish. She trusted a man who promised to help and shelter her. Unfortunately, all this turned out to be deceitful manipulation.