Austrian police have arrested three Afghan asylum seekers for the rape and murder of a 13-year-old school girl found dead in Vienna on Saturday.
One youth, aged 16 in addition to two adults – aged 18 and 23 – are now in police custody as Austrian political leaders condemned the atrocious attack and vowed to deport migrants who break the law.
Police reports suggested the two younger males knew the girl who had voluntarily entered the 18-year-old’s apartment, where it is alleged she was plied with drugs and, according to the Vienna police chief Gerhard Puerstl, “crimes against the sexual integrity” of the girl were committed.
The victim’s bruised body was discovered by passers-by leaning against a tree next to Viktor-Kaplan-Strasse on Saturday morning at approximately 7am. She was reportedly found strangled with her body dumped in a green strip close to the older youth’s apartment in Vienna-Donaustadt.
Foreign media reported how the 18-year-old Afghan migrant had arrived in Austria back in 2015 and had committed previous offences – including drug trafficking and brawling – for which he had his asylum application rejected and a deportation notice issued.
Some reporters have questioned why the accused had continued to receive the social assistance he had been granted in 2015 after his asylum application had been turned down.
The attack shocked the nation and has swiftly become a political issue, with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz condemning the “barbaric attack” and pledging on Tuesday to ensure those responsible are “punished with the full force of the law.”
On the wider issue of crimes being committed by migrants, Kurz said he finds it “intolerable for people who come to us, say they are seeking protection and then commit cruel, barbaric crimes in Austria.
“Politically, this means for me that we will stick to our consistent line,” Kurz added. In response to the domestic issue of deporting people back in Afghanistan – something the Austrian Greens wanted to suspend – Kurz affirmed: “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.”