Austrian authorities have arrested three Afghans as suspects in the rape and killing of a 13-year-old girl. The Austrian Chancellor has vowed 'never to stop' deportations to Afghanistan.
The girl's body was found next to a tree in Vienna's Donaustadt district on Saturday, June 26. Two Afghan youths, aged 16 and 18, were arrested as suspects on Monday. Both were asylum seekers; the elder had had his protected status revoked as a result of three convictions that included one for robbery.
The 16-year-old has only been in Austria since April 7, 2021, the Austrian Press Agency APA reports.
A third man, a 23-year-old Afghan, was arrested in Vienna on Wednesday evening on suspicion of involvement. On Thursday, APA reported that a search was underway for a fourth man. The suspect is a 22-year-old Afghanistan who has been wanted since Tuesday on a European arrest warrant.
Officials have said that the victim knew the first two suspects and had voluntarily accompanied them to the 18-year-old suspect's apartment. There, according to Vienna police chief Gerhard Pürstl, she was given drugs and sexually assaulted.
Deportations will never be stopped: Kurz
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz promised on Tuesday that authorities will ensure the perpetrators are "punished with the full force of the law."
"I find it intolerable for people come to us, say they are seeking protection and then commit cruel, barbaric crimes in Austria,'" he said.
"Politically, this means for me that we will stick to our consistent line,'" said Kurz, who has taken a tough approach to asylum and migration policy. "With me, there will definitely never be a halt to deportations to Afghanistan or a watering-down of asylum laws toward asylum-seekers who commit crimes."
With AP, Austria Presse Agentur