Viral video leads to military investigation

A video of Swiss recruits attacking a soldier with stones and nuts was widely shared online, and as a result the military will now investigate bullying in its ranks.

Lara Bullens
Lara Bullens NewsMavens, Western Europe
Viral video leads to military investigation - NewsMavens
Swiss soldiers, YouTube

Why this story matters:

A young recruit stands in a field. A few meters behind him, a group of soldiers look on. Then a male voice can be heard shouting “ready” and then “fire”. The soldiers begin to pelt the recruit with stones and nuts with all their strength.

In response, the Swiss Army tweeted: "The army does not tolerate any bodily harm."

Military training is compulsory in Switzerland for all able-bodied males (women can choose to participate as well). Conscription usually lasts around 21 weeks. There is a long -service option that can last up to 300 days.

It is only now that accounts of harassment are reaching Swiss media. Though many friends, and Swiss soldiers I’ve met, have shared endless stories of abuse of power within the military, these stories are were never covered.

Perhaps this is the right moment for other soldiers to speak up.

Details from the story:

  • RSI Ticino broadcasted the video on Thursday night
  • A military spokesperson said an investigation has been launched
  • The scene apparently took place on the September 14.
  • The video was sent to the RSI by soldier’s father
  • The soldiers are part of the Anti-Aircraft Training Unit 33
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