Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sweden: Iraqi asylum seeker may have invented rape story

The Local:

On Sunday police began searching for three men suspected of tying up and raping a 29-year-old Iraqi woman in an apartment in the Stockholm suburb Liljeholmen. Now however the woman and her husband, both asylum seekers, have been detained on suspicion of having invented the story.

A 51 year-old Iraqi woman present in the apartment when police entered on Sunday afternoon has now been released. Police had initially suspected her of holding the woman against her will and acting as an accessory to rape.

"We have questioned both women and the man and compared the information they have provided. We now suspect that the story they told us may have been untrue," said deputy prosecutor Mikael Carlsson.

The 29-year-old's husband raised the alarm on Sunday after claiming that he tried to visit his wife at her temporary address in Liljeholmen.

When police forced their way into the apartment they found the woman tied up and lying on a sofa. The 51-year-old woman with her in the apartment was immediately arrested.

The 29-year-old explained to police that she had been held in the apartment against her will for five days.

"She also told us the she was raped by three masked men who came to the apartment on day two," said police spokesman Gunnar Samuelsson.

Police have not yet received an explanation as to why the couple might have fabricated their story.

They probably invented the story because they thought that public sympathy would allow them to stay in Sweden.


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