The Daily Express, a tabloid known for its anti-immigrant fearmongering, recently published a story about a “mass sex attack” allegedly committed by more than 900 drunk refugees in Frankfurt on New Year’s Eve. But it now turns out this story was entirely made up.
A fictitious story
German tabloid Bild published the story first. And it has since deleted it from its website.
The piece included two apparently made-up anecdotes. One of them came from a supposed victim – Irina – who said immigrants had “grabbed me under the skirt, between my legs, my breasts, everywhere”.
In addition, restaurant owner Jan Mai claimed that 50 Arab men caused trouble in his restaurant. He said they were sexually assaulting women and stealing jackets.
The police who investigated the report, however, found no evidence at all that a mass sexual assault had taken place. Let alone at the hands of refugees. In fact, they’d received no reports of any sexual assault occurring on New Year’s Eve before the newspaper story.
Interviews with alleged witnesses, guests and employees led to major doubts with the version of events that had been presented… One of the alleged victims was not even in Frankfurt at the time the allegations are said to have taken place.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
Bild published a statement on 14 February saying it “apologizes expressly for the untruthful article and the accusations made in it”. The Daily Express has now updated its own story to include this apology.
By publishing the initial article, The Daily Express yet again showed loose journalistic standards, and its commitment to an agenda of anti-immigrant fearmongering.
A number of right-wing outlets have a history of false stories blaming ‘migrants’ for non-existent crimes. And while police exposed this fabrication, that doesn’t happen every time.
The reports of a mass New Year’s Eve sex attack in Cologne and other German cities like Hamburg made global headlines. But the existence of made-up quotes, and the fact that police may have tampered with evidence, did not. In such cases, the media has done the damage already.
This ‘news’ serves only one purpose – to divide and sow hate. And we must call it out each and every time.
Featured image via Twitter
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?