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.
“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.”