Sweden’s Interior Minister Anders Ygeman, above, has called for stricter age tests following the gang rape of a boy by five teenagers from Afghanistan.
Fury erupted in Sweden last week after it was reported that the gang, who filmed themselves assaulting the minor for over an hour, had only been sentenced to Juvenile Detention. In addition they were ordered to pay damage of 250,000 krona (£22,274.00) to their victim.
The Teenagers were found guilty of Aggravated Rape but the court decided they should not be sent back to Afghanistan, despite requests from the prosecution. It was argued they were too young and would be put at risk by being deported. The court said:
In light of their age and the security situation in Afghanistan (they) would be hit very hard by the expulsion.
Ygeman said there was widespread support for the crackdown, after one of the rapists, who claimed to be 17-years-old, was assessed to be 18 by the Swedish Migrant Board. The judge accepted his claim to be 17 years old, meaning he could not be sent to an adult prison or serve an adult sentence up to three times as long.
As under-aged asylum-seekers are less likely to be deported, it has sparked concerns that migrants will exploit the legal system.
Ygeman also said the Scandinavian country has been far too lenient with migrants who have either arrived without legal documents or refused to show them to authorities.
Adding a policy change was required to ensure a fair legal process, he said:
If a person doesn’t have an identity document, I think you clearly have to place the burden with the individual to prove their identity.
A new law could be in place by July 1. But former prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem warned:
This will be a be a persistent problem in the future in these borderline cases. You will never medically able to determine the exact age.
Four of the teenagers were sentenced to one year and three months in juvenile detention, while the district court in Uppsala, north of Stockholm, ruled the fifth defendent should serve 13 months as he was aged just 16.
The rapists claimed they were drunk when they carried out the attack and could not remember what happened.
During the attack, the victim was beaten around the head and body before being dragged into woods at knifepoint. He was bitten and spat on the during the horrifying sex assault, which happened in October. His assailants also threatened to kill him.
The 18 year-old who filmed the attack on his smart phone was sentenced to one year and three months in a young offender’s institution for child pornography and aggravated rape.
He threatened to release the film on social media if the victim went to the police.
The gang had all arrived in Sweden from Afghanistan unaccompanied and sought asylum.
For the defence, Stefan Wallin said of one of the teenagers:
He has no recollection of the events because of alcohol intoxication.
Hat tip: Trevor Blake