Gang Rape Streamed on Facebook Live, Suspects Arrested

Europe
Gang Rape Streamed on Facebook Live, Suspects Arrested PHOTOGRAPH: Flickr/Office of Public Affairs | Under CC BY 2.0

A group of three men raped a young woman in Sweden for hours and streamed it via Facebook Live on Sunday. The Swedish police then started receiving distress calls from a number of viewers who reported the ongoing crime. Since the rape footage was limited to a closed group of a few thousand people, there was no way for the police to gain access to it.

Facebook Live is gradually becoming a device to record violent crimes. Reporting the videos that are streamed in closed groups are trickier since the retrieval of evidence becomes a hassle. And not every viewer within the immediate group can be expected to have the presence of mind to take a screenshot or record the video playing on the screen.

Suspects Caught After Screenshots Were Circulated

The Swedish police found themselves in a similar dilemma when an array of witness called them up to report the heinous crime on Sunday. Ambiguous details like one of the suspects holding gun to the camera to threaten the viewers were reported. It also became clear that the woman was undressed forcibly and sexually molested. Some even stated that the men could be heard saying, “you have been raped” and “three against one,” reported Expressen.

The alleged rape took place in an apartment in Uppsala in Sweden. The police tracked down the suspects after receiving tips of their appearance and screenshots from the viewers. After the video had been streaming for hours, the police were able to barge in the scene of the crime.

The crime was still ongoing when the police caught the suspects red-handed. The arrested men are aged 18, 20 and 24. They have been detained in police custody until investigations are completed. Two of the men are being demanded for rape and the third one is being held for the “failure to reveal rape.”

Rape Footage Still Not Available

Despite requesting anyone with the access to the rape footage to come forward with a copy, none have, so far. This complicates the investigation for the police. “We do not have access to the film. That could mean it does not exist. We can however not say anything for sure. In order to get as clear a picture as possible we are questioning people who have at least seen parts of the live streaming on Facebook,” said Uppsala’s deputy chief prosecutor Magnus Berggren, reported The Local.

Christine Chen, a Facebook spokeswoman, has condemned the shameful incident in no uncertain words. She made it aptly clear that content on Facebook has to adhere strictly to a set of standards. “If someone does violate our community standards while using Live, we want to interrupt these streams as quickly as possible when they’re reported to us,” she said, reported The New York Times.

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