Swedish police are being criticized for failing to inform the public of widespread sexual assaults against teenage girls at a music festival last summer.

The police hadn't mentioned the August 2015 incidents at the "We are Sthlm" festival until the newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported on them in mid-January this year. The story was released after the string of sexual assaults and robberies on New Year's Eve in Cologne, Germany was reported all over Europe. Police in Germany were criticized for not immediately reporting the incidents in Cologne, where authorities and witnesses later described the attackers as predominantly Arab and North African men.

ADVERTISEMENT
Volvo Overseas - the ultimate experience

Spokespersons for the Swedish Police have now confirmed that there was "a large number" of sexual assaults during the five-day festival and that scores of "young men who were not from Sweden" were detained. The Swedish police have been cautious about bringing up sensitive issues that are mostly shunned by politicians and major media alike for years.

It deserves to be mentioned that Dagens Nyheter itself was blamed for covering up and not reporting the incidents, which were allegedly brought to the newspaper’s attention already in the summer. According to other sources referred to at Nyheter Idag, several police officers had repeatedly tried to get the newspaper to write about the assaults in August 2015. The newspaper’s editor now says that no independent confirmation of events could be made at the time, a comment that contrasts with several of those involved, both among individual police officers who had been at the scene and a police psychologist who worked hard to get the media to report it.