A 14-year-old who was the victim of an alleged gang-rape in a cemetery killed herself after pictures and videos of the attack were posted online.
The horrifying ordeal, which took place in Ghent, Belgium, and its tragic aftermath have resulted in five arrests, with police identifying the alleged perpetrators from the online images.
The shocking case has drawn a response from the very top of the Belgian government, with the country’s justice minister expressing his shock and outrage over what happened.
The five suspects – all from Ghent – include three minors aged 14 and 15 and two adults aged 18 and 19.
The girl, from Gavere, south of Ghent, had gone to meet a friend in the Westerbegraafplaats cemetery on May 15, only to find four other people were also there, and they allegedly gang-raped her.
Four days after it happened, the girl killed herself. Her family were then told about the attack by one of the girl's friends, who she had confided in.
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According to Belgian media reports, two of the minors who have been arrested are brothers, and some of the suspects were already known to police.
They have been arrested on suspicion of rape, indecent assault and the taking and dissemination of photographs likely to constitute an attack on the integrity of a person.
The two adults will be in court on Wednesday.
Denis Dierick, the mayor of Gavere, said he knew the victim well and said her death was “pure horror” and “an inhuman tragedy”.
Meanwhile, justice minister Vincent van Quikernborn pledged on Twitter that those responsible for the girl’s dreadful ordeal would be punished.
“Hateful, there are no words to describe it. My thoughts are with the family and friends,” he said.
“Suspects have been arrested and the investigation is ongoing. Justice must be concerned about justice.”
Newsin24 reported the victim's father as saying that his daughter had been “struggling for some time”.
Her heartbroken dad added: “She needed help and unfortunately it took far too long for her to get it.
“She had such a hard time and these facts and images were the last straw for her. A 14-year-old girl can't go through something like this.
“She saw her whole world fall apart. Without these people, she would have been there. All I can hope for now is justice.”
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