In mid-January, protests erupted in Berlin after a 13-year-old German-Russian girl claimed that migrants of either Middle Eastern or North African origin had kidnapped and raped her. But now she admits that her allegations are false.

According to The Guardian, a teenage girl known as “Lisa” disappeared on January 11, 2016. Her parents “reported her missing...after she failed to appear at school in the Marzahn district of the capital. She reappeared 30 hours later with injuries on her face, and told her parents she had been attacked by men of Middle Eastern or North African appearance.” The story traveled quickly across social media; members of the Russian-German community organized a demonstration. The far-right National Democratic Party staged its own protest as well.

Now, Martin Steltner, spokesperson for the state prosecutor, tells The Guardian that in three days time Lisa withdrew her claims. When questioned by specialists, “she immediately admitted that the story of the rape was not true,” he explained. Rather, “the teenager had been scared of going home after the school had contacted her parents over an incident at school.” She spent the night at a friend’s house instead.

On Sunday January 11, Lisa’s mother told Der Spiegel magazine that her daughter “was doing very badly” and currently receiving psychiatric treatment.

Anti-migrant sentiment flared across Germany at the start of the new year when more than 500 criminal cases, many involving sexual assault, were committed on New Year’s Eve in Cologne. Most suspects were of North African origin.

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