Two Tunisian migrants have been arrested for the violent rape of an Italian teenager on the island of Sardinia in an attack that has sent shockwaves through the local community.
The incident occurred in the town of Arzachena on Oct. 21 but has only just been made public but the local authorities. A young woman had been walking through the Gallura area of the town when she was accosted by two adult males and subjected to a brutal attack and sexual assault.
There is some confusion as to the age of the victim with conflicting reports in the Italian media. Some outlets such as the Il Giornale newspaper reported she had just turned 18, while others claimed the rape was of a minor.
The perpetrators fled the scene but a police investigation later identified two suspects whose involvement was confirmed by the victim. The authorities arrested two Tunisian nationals, Mohamedymen Dkhili, 31, and Amine Khemissi, 26, both of whom have no fixed address. They were later charged with gang sexual violence.
No further details regarding their immigration status or their length of stay in Italy have been disclosed by the public prosecutor.
The attack “immediately became the subject of discussions in bars and virtual squares, bringing out fear and anger among citizens,” reported the Olbianova online newspaper.
Residents were cited by the news outlet as being afraid to frequent public areas in the town they used to enjoy, particularly at night.
“It seems that we are afraid to go out into the square, as we did many years ago to go for a walk and be together with friends,” said one resident.
Streets and squares such as Via Ruzittu, Piazza Risorgimento, and Corso Garibaldi are now deserted by locals at night having fallen victim to gangs and crime.
“Currently, there is an invasion after dinner and many people are afraid,” added another.
The local mayor, Roberto Ragnedda, expressed his “deep sadness” and concern over the attack, describing it as a “shameful and unworthy episode that affects everyone.”
“The first information disclosed by the Tempio Prosecutor’s Office and the Carabinieri of the Arzachena station indicates the arrest of two people. We await developments on the matter, but I hope that the competent authorities can bring the culprits to justice as soon as possible.
“Gestures detrimental to freedom and the dignity of women like these do not deserve excuses. I offer my deepest sympathies to the victim and her family,” he added.