Alleged Rape Of 13 Year Old Sparks Diplomatic Tension Between Russia And Germany

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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A 13-year-old German girl of Russian descent is at the center of diplomatic tension between Russia and Germany after she was allegedly kidnapped and raped by a group of immigrants in Berlin.

Russia claims the girl was abducted and taken to an apartment in the German capital Jan. 11. The men then kept her as a sex slave and gang-raped her for 30 hours before she reappeared at her home.

The story blew up in Russia after a woman identified as the girl’s aunt was interviewed by Russian state television. The woman said German authorities ignored the girl’s allegations against the immigrants, similarly to how they handled the sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

The interview was backed up by two videos illustrating what happened. The first showed German immigrants bragging about raping a girl. The same video was posted on YouTube in 2009.

The second video shows a girl getting assaulted by a large group of men in public. It was filmed at the Tahir square in Kairo, Egypt.

German media labeled the case as an “xenophobic hoax” made up by Russia to spread propaganda. Berlin police said there were no indications that the girl had been abducted at all.

Police slightly changed their story when reports indicated that the girl had been reported missing, but that any sexual activity appeared to have been consensual. They are instead investigating the case as child abuse, with two suspects in custody.

When Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held his annual address Tuesday, he asked for Germany to tell the truth about what really happened, saying it is clear she didn’t disappear voluntarily for 30 hours.

“The information was covered up for a very long time during her disappearance for some reason,” Lavrov said. “Truth and justice must prevail.”

German newspaper Der Spiegel Tuesday reported that Russia routinely uses their citizens living abroad to further a narrative. Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Russians residing in 97 countries abroad last November to thank them for “their solidarity during the reunification of Crimea and Russia,” according to the newspaper.

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