National Police in Pamplona are investigating a complaint filed by a 19-year-old woman who claims she was raped inside a bar in the city’s old town during this year’s Sanfermines bullfighting fiestas.
According to the woman’s statement, a man forced his way into the restroom of the bar and allegedly sexually assaulted her on the night of July 9 to 10.
The Women Against Sexist Violence Platform, the organization that reported the incident, said that the friends of the attacker knew what was going on, “permitted it and were laughing at the situation.”
The organization that reported the incident said the friends of the attacker knew what was going on, “permitted it and were laughing at the situation”
The victims’ friends entered the restroom and took the woman out once they realized how long she had been missing.
No arrests have yet been made over the incident.
The Women Against Sexist Violence Platform and the Gora Iruñea collective, which groups together a number of city organizations, held a demonstration in Pamplona’s central Plaza del Ayuntamiento on Monday evening to protest the alleged assault. Members of the municipal government also attended the event.
The platform also called on local bars to stop playing music between 12 midnight and 12.30am that evening, the penultimate of this year’s Sanfermines, as a show of rejection over the incident.
Preventing sexual assaults during this year’s Sanfermines had been one of the priorities for the new municipal government of Mayor Joseba Asirón, of the leftist Basque separatist EH Bildu party. To that end he had established a special protocol for local police to follow, as well as setting up an attention point in the city center to raise awareness and deal with complaints.
In recent years the Sanfermines had come under the spotlight over the practice of groups of men manhandling topless women during the fiestas, which has angered anti-gender violence groups.
A number of violent incidents have also been reported at the Sanfermines over the years. During the 2008 celebrations a young nursing student was strangled to death by a doctor, while in 1985 a 37-year-old Moroccan man was arrested for abusing three children. Four rapes were also reported that year.