Report: Late 2015 welcome party for refugees in Cologne turned into ‘mass groping’

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Furious Germans blasted the Cologne city council for covering up sex crimes by Arab migrants two months before the New Year’s Eve sex assaults.

Cologne council officials covered up news of a welcome party for refugees that “descended into a mass groping session,” according to a report by the UK’s Express.


A sign in a shop window asks 'do you feel safe' and offers CS (riot control) gas for sale. /Getty Images
A sign in a Cologne shop window asks ‘do you feel safe’ and offers CS (riot control) gas for sale. /Getty Images

The party was held two months before a gang of at least 1,000 Arab men sexually assaulted hundreds of women on New Year’s Eve.

Police and victims of the New Year’s Eve attacks are demanding to know why organizers of the earlier party “did not warn them that refugees had committed abhorrent sexual harassment amid speculation such information could have helped avert the sickening attacks on New Year’s Eve.”

The report said that young women at the welcome party event fled in terror “after being groped by gangs of migrant men, even though organizers repeatedly interrupted the music with messages in Arabic urging them to stop their harassment.”

The government of Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under increasing criticism for its response to the sex assaults and is being pressed to reveal how many sex crimes in Germany have been linked to migrants. Media reports revealed that the government, which has taken in over 1.1 million Arab refugees, mostly single young men, deliberately withheld the nationalities of the Cologne attackers for several days.

According to the Express report, German officials also have “covered up” similar incidents in Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich and Berlin.

Coletta Manemann, the Cologne council official responsible for the integration of refugees in the region, admitted organizers of the welcome party, held on Nov. 7, 2015, knew about the mass groping at the event but did not want to bring the incidents to light.

The official also said she “cannot remember” if she advised the young women who were attacked to go to the police, but added she felt the event’s student organizers “had learned from the situation.”

The incident only became known after one of the victims went to the police after news spread of the Cologne New Year’s Eve sex attacks.

“I guess there were about 100 to 150 asylum seeker men there. I’d only been there a few minutes and I got the first hand on my breast,” the young woman said. “Up to four men were pressing themselves on me and my friend at the same time.”

She said one migrant then grabbed her and kissed her, at which point she managed to break free and run off with another friend.

North Rhine-Westphalia region police spokesman Robert Scholten said: “The music had to be constantly stopped so that the message could be given out in Arabic to stop men harassing female guests. We could have been called at this point but nobody alerted us to the problem.”

Meanwhile, another city revealed it canceled a planned carnival because of fears of a Cologne-style attack on visitors.

Organizers of the Rose Monday carnival parade in Rheinberg said the event was being canceled “for security reasons” linked to the events on New Year’s Eve. A refugee camp housing several hundred people has been established just outside the city.