Swedish police face allegations of a cover-up for failing to inform the public of widespread sexual assaults against teenage girls at a music festival last summer.
Police had not mentioned the August incidents at the We are Sthlm festival until newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported on them this weekend following a string of sexual assaults and robberies on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, Germany.
Stockholm police spokesman Varg Gyllander confirmed to The Associated Press there was “a large number” of sexual assaults during the five-day festival and that scores of suspects were detained.
He said police should have reported on the incidents at the time “given the nature of the crime”. He denied suggestions in the newspaper report that police kept quiet because the suspects were foreigners.
Roger Ticoalu, who heads the city government’s events department, told the AP that a “large part” of those detained were from Afghanistan, many carrying temporary ID-cards issued to asylum-seekers.
He said about 20 teenage girls filed complaints of sexual assault and that about 200 suspects were detained and ejected from the festival for sexual assault and other offences.