‘Refugees’ involved in two Amsterdam sex assaults in six months

eberhard van der laanThere have been two incidents of sexual assault in Amsterdam in the past six months which appear to have involved asylum seekers, the capital’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan said in a briefing to council members on Wednesday.

Van der Laan came under fire last week for saying Amsterdammers were too ‘nice’ to carry out attacks like those in Cologne during the New Year celebrations. He later withdrew the comment.

One incident took place at a swimming pool and involved assaults on several girls, the briefing stated. The second involved a young woman in a bar. In both cases police ‘consider it likely’ a refugee was involved but there have been no arrests.

In the case of the cafe, no complaint had been made and security staff removed the man from the premises. The parents of the girls at the swimming pool have made a formal police complaint.

The mayor did not say what led police to assume the men were refugees.


Van der Laan said councillors had not been told about the attacks because it is not current practice to go into specifics about every incident. For example, it is not usual for 100 people to be arrested on an average Saturday night, he said.

Van der Laan also said there have been around 30 incidents inside the city’s refugee centres over the past six months. Most involved fights, discrimination or drunken behaviour.

‘There is a link between these incidents and keeping large groups in cramped conditions with little privacy,’ the mayor said. ‘We must accept the fact there many be more in the future.’

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