Three young men suspected of gang raping a woman in Sweden and livestreaming the attack on Facebook have been detained – wit police urging social media users on Monday to turn over the footage.
At a press conference on Monday, investigators appealed to social media users who had images of the attack to turn them over to police.
Uppsala deputy chief prosecutor Magnus Berggren said: ‘We have some picture and video material. But we don’t have any images showing the attack itself’.
The film has been removed from Facebook but it has been circulated on the internet.
Swedish media have published excerpts of the footage, showing at least one of the suspects holding a revolver.
The suspects, aged 18, 20 and 24, were arrested early Sunday in an apartment in Uppsala, 45 miles north of Stockholm, in the presence of their 30-year-old victim.
The arrest were made after members of a Facebook group saw the attack streamed live and alerted police.
Josefine Lundgren, 21, was one of the witnesses who watched the incident online and reported it.
She said she saw the victim being stripped and then sexually assaulted by several armed men and said the attack only ended several hours later when police arrived and switched off the webcam.
She told Sweden’s Expressen newspaper that the 24-year-old suspect, a repeat offender considered by police to be the main attacker, ‘tore the clothes off’ his victim before raping her.
She added that the attacker also ‘had apparently filmed everything and took pictures that he put on (messaging site) Snapchat’.
Ms Lundgren said she saw uniformed police arrive at the scene and arrest the culprits.
Another online witness told the paper: ‘At first I thought it was a poorly orchestrated joke.’
He said: ‘The first thing you think is ‘how can you do such a thing to a girl?’ And how can you do it live? It is totally sick.’
According to Berggren, other charges could be pressed against the suspects in addition to one of aggravated rape, for having streamed the attack.
In an email to AFP, a press spokesman for Facebook in the Nordic countries denounced ‘a hideous crime’.
He said: ‘Our teams work around the clock to review content that is being reported by users’ and Facebook cooperates systematically with police in criminal investigations.
In June last year gang member Antonio Perkins, 28, unwittingly live streamed his own death on Facebook after he was shot dead in Chicago while using the real time video app.
And earlier this month four black people were charged with a hate crime after a white man with learning difficulties was tortured on Facebook Live. The gang shouted: ‘F*** Trump’ and ‘F*** white people’ during the attack, also in Chicago.