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Monday, July 22, 2024

More weekend rape and murder

Weekend violence in Oslo resulted in more reports of sexual assault and the city’s fifth murder in the past month. That’s high for the Norwegian capital, and the assaults occurred despite a major increase in police out on the streets.

“It’s sad that this is happening,” Oslo Police Chief Anstein Gjengedal told various media outlets, which were full of reports and commentary about the rash of violence. Once again, it mostly occurred late at night after weekend partying.

Five sexual assaults
Gjengedal said the report of the rape at Vaterlandsparken behind the Plaza Hotel downtown came in around the same time as the reports of a loud party and disturbance in an apartment building in Oslo’s Bislet district, around 2:30am on Sunday.

Even though the police had beefed up already strengthened patrols around the city with an extra 20 officers both Friday and Saturday night, Gjengedal conceded that “we can’t be everywhere at all times.”

The rape report from Vaterlandsparken came in addition to reports of four other sexual assaults against five women, with two victims saying they were attacked in the same apartment and two others reporting being raped at late-night parties (called nachspiel in Norway) at Sagene and Bislet. Another assault was reported to have occurred in a pirate taxi in Grünerløkka.

While police and politicians have been concerned by what they call an “overrepresentation” of asylum seekers among the assailants, the vicim of the Vaterlandsparken rape described her assailant as ethnic Norwegian. Concerns are rising that he’s a serial rapist because of similar descriptions of assailants in earlier rapes this year. Oslo has been caught in a wave of rape cases that has set off great public debate in recent weeks.

Another murder at Bislet
The weekend murder in the Bislet district also involved four young Norwegian men, whom police said are all in their early 20s. Three of them lived together in the apartment on the busy street Pilestredet, and neighbours described them as well-liked but known for holding loud, late-night parties.

Police couldn’t detail the sequence of events in the Bislet building late Saturday night, but they described the scene as bloody and showing signs of a huge fight. One man was found dead in the apartment, apparently from stab wounds, while two others were severely injured. One of them, reported newspaper Dagbladet, managed to escape the flat and hail a taxi. He was driven, bleeding heavily, to the emergency clinic called Legevakten, with the taxi driver credited with probably saving his life.

The alleged assailant was caught in the backyard of the apartment building, also wounded. Neighbours told that they found pools of blood and the word “Gud” (God) written in blood on a window in the stairwell, while the alleged assailant yelled “Gud” in the backyard and was wielding a knife.

If was the fifth murder in Oslo this month and the 27th in the country so far this year, in addition to the 77 persons killed in the July terrorist attacks. The numbers compare to 30 murders in Norway in 2010.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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