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2005-08-25

Extremes of cruelty in the under class and in the upper class 

This 'quick news medium' today follows the outputs of the mass media to two current outrages. Judge for yourself whether there is any lesson in them. Be warned before reading on that the material that follows is unpleasant to deal with.

In a Hamburg court, hearings have started in the trial of the parents of seven-year old Jessica who died earlier this year. The FAZ reports [DE]:
The seven-year old girl died in an appartment in a high-rise complex in Hamburg-Jenefeld, apparently after undergoing a horrible ordeal for months. The child was kept like a prisoner. She was not allowed to leave her room, not even to go to the toilet. The windows were covered [with black plastic]. The heating did not work, there were no toys. ... Jessica suffocated on vomit when she could not take in food any longer. In her stomach, hair was found, which apparently she had eaten in desperation. The excrements were so hard that they must have caused severe pains to the girl. Jessica died on the first of March. By then she weighed only 9.6kg - as much as usually a two-year old child. Her skin was like pergament-paper.
Her mother had in earlier years already neglected and abandoned three other children. She is described by psychologists as extremely indifferent and self-righteous, and only ever held a job for three months. Her partner was not the biological father of the child. He seems to have placed a live cable in a light switch in the girl's room with the intention of killing her by electric shock. The lamps in the room were dismounted. When the girl did not enroll for primary school, the welfare office imposed a fine of 60 euros on the mother, which was never paid. Welfare officers visited the address, but there was no response when they rang the doorbell of the flat, and they never inquired further.

Turning to the Viennese upper class, Falter magazine has gained access to phone protocols assembled by the police from -- legal -- surveillance of a call girl ring operating in Vienna with young women recruited and flown into Vienna from rural Eastern Europe. The published excerpts [DE] of the customer orders are full of sadistic requests, specifically mentioning in some cases 15-year olds. According to the usually trustworthy magazine, many of the customers in the surveillance protocols are prominent members of the Austrian and international upper class, whose names must however not be published due to the legal conditions for the phone surveillance. The leading figures of the ring have in the meantime been sentenced to "short prison terms" for their threats of violence to the women and for the involvement of minors. The trafficking of prostitutes from abroad as such is legal, there are even special types of visa granted to the women in a policy designed to combat illegal prostitution. As for the customers, the article mentions famous lawyers, state attorneys, university professors, one call from the directorate of parliament, businessmen, as well as one person who seems to be uniquely identified by the description "prominent US-lawyer. During daytime, complained in front of journalists and politicians about the injustice of the world. In the evening, had several girls delivered to the Intercontinental for himself and his prominent client. ... [among them] Inga, schoolgirl from Lithuania, 17 years old."


2 comments:

It is astounding that the xenophobic coalition has not closed the loophole of "dancers' visas". Even more astounding when one thinks of Frau (!) Aussenminister who indirectly supports this dirty trade by remaining passive on this issue. Or do her party colleagues block any such intiative out of self-interest?
 

Yes, and as far as I know support for this policy is unanimous across the whole political spectrum. It is believed that any changes, e.g. persecuting the clients as is done in Sweden, would make matters worse for the women. I find it hard to come to terms with such a conclusion, when it looks from anecdotal evidence that Vienna is becoming an international hub for prostitution networks that exploit the conditions created by the economic backwardness of some regions in CEE.
 
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