Two asylum seekers suspected in Amsterdam sex crimes cases

Over the past six months there were two sex offences in Amsterdam involving asylum seekers from an emergency shelter in the city, Mayor Eberhard van der Laan writes in a letter to the city council, which Het Parool has in its possession.

The first offense involves an asylum seeker who sexually assaulted or harassed several girls in a pool. The police considers it likely that the perpetrator comes from the emergency shelter. The police are looking for the suspect, but so far no arrests were made. "The police immediately made contact with the girls' families and offered them guidance, including with pressing charges", the mayor writes.

The second report involves an asylum seeker from the emergency shelter who sexually assaulted and harassed a young woman in a cafe. The cafe's security kicked the man out. "Because the police do not know who the victim is and no charges were pressed, the police can not arrest the perpetrator."

There were about 30 incidents in the various emergency shelters in the city over the past six months. According to the mayor, the incidents involved fights between residents, LGBT-asylum seekers being intimidated and transferred, one demonstration over dissatisfaction with the facility in the shelter, drunkenness and unrest about the various problems, among others the lengthy asylum procedure.

"Many of these incidents are related to the lengthy shelter of large groups in a small space with little privacy. We should take into account that these will increase." the mayor writes.

In his own words, Van der Laan writes this letter to the council to show openness about the state of affairs. This comes after it was suggested that Amsterdam is covering incidents up, like what happened with the events in Cologne on New Year's.

According to Van der Laan, the supposed cover-up is very far from the truth. "We absolutely do not want sexual offenses and other violations of fundamental values or liberties in this city. The suggestion that things are concealed I do not consider a contribution to the conversation."