The ban was announced in Tulln earlier this week, with the mayor having informed senior authorities in the region that his town refuses to accept any refugees or asylum seekers “until further notice,” local media reported.
“We have zero tolerance against criminal immigrants who abuse the rights while being guests. In view of what these criminals have done to the girl, the full severity of the law is demanded,” Mayor Peter Eisenschenk said in a statement, as cited by Heute News.
No refugees or immigrants will be allowed in the town while the incident is being investigated, he said. The mayor asked for a parliamentary hearing on the issue.
Three men are suspected to have “brutally raped” a 15-year-old girl in late April, Austria Press Agency (APA) reported, citing police. The girl was abused twice by three perpetrators, police said. She was on her way home in the late evening hours when three suspects followed her, grabbed her and forced her mouth shut. They then allegedly raped their victim, who managed to flee, but was captured again, and sexually assaulted again.
In the course of the investigation, the local prosecutor’s office ordered 59 male residents of asylum accommodation in the area to submit DNA samples, APA reported. At least one man was taken into custody.
Police have not disclosed any further information in order “not to jeopardize” the ongoing investigation, but media reports emerged suggesting the suspects are of Afghan and Somali origin.
Saying that the regional temporary ban on refugees and immigrants is “too little” a measure, the Tulln mayor and his supporters have requested Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka to address the issue, saying the case should be heard in the parliament, according to Austrian Nachrichten newspaper.
Austria is among several other Schengen zone member states that introduced border controls during the height of the migrant crisis in Europe in 2015. Initially temporary, the emergency measure has been granted several extensions. Austrian ministers have lately been pushing for the EU to grant them yet another extension to help control the flow of immigrants into their country.