Naked soldiers film condemned

Sweden’s Defence Minister Leni Björklund has said she is dismayed over a film showing naked Swedish soldiers firing practice ammunition.

The film was made the summer of 2004, according to Swedish Television’s Uppdrag Granskning. It shows a weapons exercise featuring conscript soldiers from the Amphibious Regiment on Vaxholm.

“This has no place in the Swedish military,” Björklund said.

Soldiers edited the film themselves and among other things show two naked soldiers – wearing only helmets – burning themselves on hot shell casings.

Rough language is heard from those behind the camera. The shooting is accompanied by loud music.

“The film feels like a throwback to old traditions that might exist, but there is no room for that in the Swedish military,” Björklund said.

She said Swedes will picture the military differently after the film.

“If they see this type of training exercise, I think people will have a lesser understanding of what a modern military does,” Björklund said.

The practice shoot was part of the basic education for the new soldiers.

“I regard the shooting shown on the film as clearly unsuitable and I take the fact that this has happened very seriously,” said the regiment’s chief, Jonas Olsson.

Björklund said an investigation is underway and would be finished this August.

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