A 13-year old Russian-German girl who claimed to have been kidnapped and raped by asylum seekers in Berlin, causing an anti-immigration uproar in Germany and Russian allegations about a “political cover-up,” has admitted to fabricating her claims. A spokesman for the prosecutor has said that when the girl was interrogated by specialists “she immediately admitted that the story of the rape was not true,” and that she made up the story because she was afraid to go home after an incident at school. An analysis of phone records indicate that she spent the night of her disappearance at the house of a friend, who is not being treated as a suspect. The girl was missing for 30 hours after disappearing on January 11, and when she reappeared with injuries on her face, she claimed to have been abducted and assaulted by migrants. As rumors and outrage about the alleged assault not being taken seriously by authorities started to spread on social media, anti-immigrant groups latched on to the scandal to stage several protests. After a report on Russian TV which quoted the girl’s family as saying her claims were not properly investigated, even Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov weighed in, blaming “political correctness” for the fact that “the news that she disappeared was kept secret for a very long time.”
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