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Crisis meeting called for after femicides

Stabbed, strangled or suffocated: five women were murdered in Vienna in a single day. The Austrian Women's Ring spoke of a “black Friday” and called for an emergency government meeting.

Yesterday alone four women and a girl were killed in Vienna. Three of the women's bodies were found with fatal stab wounds in a brothel in the Austrian capital, police said. In another case, a woman and her daughter were found dead in their apartment.

The chairwoman of the Austrian Women's Ring, Klaudia Frieben, spoke of a “Black Friday” on Austrian Radio's (ORF) “Wien aktuell”. There has never been anything like this before. “Five women were killed yesterday and it is simply being ignored,” said Frieben. She called for an “immediate crisis meeting” of the government. Representatives of security policy and women's policy, violence protection organizations and political women's organizations should take part.

Holzleitner: Highest number of femicides in Europe

SPÖ federal women's leader Eva-Maria Holzleitner also appealed to the government to call a crisis meeting. She also called for a national action plan to protect against violence “to protect women’s lives in Austria”. The number of femicides is the highest in Europe. The Autonomous Austrian Women's Shelters Association (AÖF) recorded 26 femicides last year.

According to ORF, FPÖ leader Dominik Nepp also sees an escalation of violence in Vienna. However, he particularly criticized immigration policy. The suspect in the murders in a brothel is a 27-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, police confirmed. Nepp called for “a rigorous deportation policy” and a stop to asylum admissions for the capital.

An arrest, a fugitive

A mother and her 13-year-old daughter were found dead in an apartment in Vienna on Friday morning. According to APA, the two may have been strangled or suffocated. Accordingly, the father is currently the main suspect for the crime. He had disappeared since the bodies were found, the ORF reported.

Three women's bodies were later discovered in a brothel. The crime took place in several rooms and the bodies were found in different rooms, said a police spokesman. The victims, who have not yet been identified, were treated with extremely violent force.

The 27-year-old suspect, who was carrying the alleged murder weapon, was arrested nearby, police said. He is still being interrogated, the Austrian news agency APA reported. The authorities have not yet determined a motive. According to the current state of the investigation, there are no witnesses. The police were alerted by a passer-by who noticed traces of blood.

Perpetrators are usually partners or ex-partners

In Austria and other European countries, murders of women and girls, often by partners or ex-partners, are the subject of a broad debate. The Austrian government has announced that it will take action against these crimes and has also promised more financial support for organizations that help victims of violence. The aid organizations accuse Vienna of not doing enough to combat violence against women. According to a government study, a total of 319 women were killed in Austria between 2010 and 2020, in most cases by male partners or ex-partners.

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