Army conscripts abuse scandal widens

29th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

29 November 2004 , BERLIN - A scandal in the German Army over mock hostage-takings widened on Monday, with the Defence Ministry in Berlin saying it was investigating a fourth instance where conscripts may have been abused by their trainers. Defence authorities say that hardening recruits for what could happen if they were taken hostage abroad should not have included degrading treatment such as being bound, hooded, beaten, drenched with water and electro-shocked. Last week the ministry appealed to conscri

29 November 2004  

BERLIN - A scandal in the German Army over mock hostage-takings widened on Monday, with the Defence Ministry in Berlin saying it was investigating a fourth instance where conscripts may have been abused by their trainers.

Defence authorities say that hardening recruits for what could happen if they were taken hostage abroad should not have included degrading treatment such as being bound, hooded, beaten, drenched with water and electro-shocked.

Last week the ministry appealed to conscripts to report all questionable training methods.

Ministry spokesman Norbert Bicher said men who did a course at Nienburg army base in Lower Saxony state reported they were tied up during an exercise. A week ago, the army confirmed that more than 20 trainers at another base in the state were under investigation.

In the original case, about 80 men were drenched in four courses conducted in mid-2004 at a base in Coesfeld.

The German military ombudsman, Wilfried Penner, said on Monday he was investigating allegations that recruits were ambushed during a night march near a base at Kempten in the lower Alps, blindfolded and locked in a damp basement.

A private has gone on German television to report excessive violence during a similar exercise involving an armoured regiment in Ahlen in North Rhine Westphalia state while it was preparing for deployment to Kosovo.

The German military has spent the past decade restructuring from a combined air and armour force to fight the Warsaw Pact in Europe into a mobile organisation that can enforce peace in distant trouble- spots.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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