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Rape threat OK for military drill, gay slur not

The Local/dl · 8 Nov 2011, 08:17

Published: 08 Nov 2011 08:17 GMT+01:00

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The ruling comes from the Life Regiment Hussars (Livregementets husarer), an elite batallion of airborne, intelligence and training operations, based in Karlsborg in central Sweden, following a complaint filed by one of the pilots who participated in a hostage exercise.

During the drill, which took place in late September, the pilot was interrogated about a watch that a colleague had smuggled into exercise by hiding it in his underwear.

The interrogation leader repeatedly asked the pilot if he was “gay”, accusing the pilot of lying when he answered that he was not.

“Yeah, I bet you like sticking things up your arse,” the interrogation leader said on several occasions, finally forcing the pilot to take his underwear off to prove he wasn't hiding anything.

The pilot also reported another incident that took place during a different interrogation conducted as part of the exercise in which he was questioned about secret information about the JAS 39 Gripen fighter jet.

When the pilot refused to divulge the classified information, the lead interrogator threatened to go find the pilot's girlfriend and have her raped before the pilot's eyes.

An internal investigation into the incidents prompted by the pilot's complaint concluded that “humiliating statements, for example 'gay'” have no place in exercises conducted by the Swedish military “even if the drills are supposed to be as realistic as possible”.

However, the investigation concluded that the interrogation which included a threat of raping the pilot's girlfriend was conducted in a “professional manner” and found nothing wrong with the tactic.

Story continues below…

“The students are well aware that this is a prisoner exercise which is being carried out and that they will be subjected to pressure on different occasions and that these occasions can include harsh words,” the investigation concluded.

“The students are put under both physical and mental stress, which is part of the exercise in order to gain an increased self awareness of one's own reaction patterns and thus gain an increased capacity to resist hostage situations where the rules of the Geneva Conventions aren't followed.”

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:59 November 8, 2011 by skogsbo
farce, how can you have realistic training, if you have rules, no other country is going to follow the geneva convention in war, so there is no point in expecting it being abided to.

Oh, they used some harsh words to interrogate me, that's really going to prepare you for the real thing. Mamma or the liberal state isn't going to fly over and rescue you when you're having your b0ll0cks electrocuted, so I would toughen up a bit now.
09:19 November 8, 2011 by RobinHood
This particular exercise has to be "robust" to make it effective. Most militiaries authorise the participants to go a little further than normal, or turn a blind eye when this sort of thing happens. The whole point is to prepare participants for a peek into what their world will be like if they are captured and interrogated. Light physical abuse, sleep deprivation, white noise, stress positions and harsh bullying tones are normal and necessary to make it work. Often the "captive" is given a codeword which, when spoken, will stop the exercise. Usually, a doctor is on duty and observing throughout the exercise, and usually the "interrogators" will meet the "captives" for a debriefing to ensure the "captive" understands this was just an exercise, that the "interrogaters" were play acting, and that the exercise is over.

The fact that Sweden is unable to properly prepare its militiary for active service is a strong argument that the Swedish militiary should never be allowed in a combat zone anywhere. In that case, why have a Swedish militiary at all.
09:22 November 8, 2011 by isenhand
"Swedish military has condemned including accusations"

I'm I the only one who found that odd?

"the Life Regiment Hussars (Livregementets husarer), an airborne and intelligence battalion!"

Err .... no!

The term "regiment" in the Swedish army refers to a training organisation. So, more correctly, "the Livregementets husarer regiment, which trains the 31 Airborne battalion and the 32 Reconnaissance battalion".

The British army has a saying "train hard; fight easy". Some times it looks to me as if the Swedish army trains easy with the expectation of never having to fight. If a military person can't handle a realistic training exercise, when at the end of the day he knows it's not real, how will he handle a much worse real situation? I wonder why such people remain in the military?
09:32 November 8, 2011 by skogsbo
that's the thing with these kind of exercise, you can get drawn into them mentally, but you just have to keep saying in 48hrs it will be over (I've read the course programme!), what you don't have is any perspective of time lapse, once the bright lights are on and you've been awake for a few days, any sense of trying to count individual hours in your head is gone.

But either way, they are preparing wimps for war, if they ever fly in Afghanistan as a 'peace & security' force, they should be a little more prepared. Grant the taliban will probably just shoot them straight off and not even go down the torture route, but you never know.

It is generally accepted that even the most mentally prepared and hardened person will last less than 24hrs of real interrogation, it is just long enough for their forces to establish how many secrets you know(and carry out damage limitation) and possibly put some protection in place for family members etc..
12:09 November 8, 2011 by Migga
Sweden has one of the most professional and trained militaries in the world.
12:21 November 8, 2011 by Central European
What is the most delicate problem of almost all armies of northern atlantic countries ?

That army service is not a cushy job, cheap source of education, hobbyist place for ever or the employment for 8hours a day in 5 days week only....

Flying is my hobby, so lets become the Grippen pilot, it is cool way.

Have no money for unversity ? Lets join the army !

I do not like the time clocks, sendentary jobs,monotary papers, deep thinking etc ? Lets be a soldier!

Hei, wait a minute ! Shooting ? Been sent to fight ? Why me ? I am just a hobbyist who likes fligt fast ! This is a job isnt it ?

And we still do not speak about "advatages" of the gender equal forces on battlefields where other side slack off the equality at all....
13:00 November 8, 2011 by robban70226
mmmm looks like the interrogation kleader was more interested in checking out what was under the underwear of the other guy, a cheap excuse to check the material?, and he called the other guy gay? what a joke hi hi
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