Three Dutch soldiers assaulted, extorted during hazing: report

Three Dutch soldiers left their unit in Schaarsbergen in 2014 because they were assaulted, bullied, extorted, abused and one was raped, the Volkskrant reports. Some of these incidents happened during hazing. Four soldiers from the same unit were punished. One of the victims filed a police declaration about the incidents two weeks ago, according to the newspaper.

The Volkskrant spoke with all three soldiers. "If there is a whole group of soldiers pissing around you and a sergeant has to laugh about it, then you just don't know", one of them said to the newspaper. A second victim told the newspaper that they were forced to pull down their pants so that another soldier with a latex glove could put his finger up their rectum. According to the newspaper, Defense itself refers to this incident as "finger in the ass". In another incident, soldiers were held to the ground while another soldier moved his bare ass around on their heads. That ritual was previously named assault by the courts, according to the newspaper. 

The victims also spoke of having loaded guns aimed at them, drug trafficking, being forced to use drugs, ammunition theft and illegal firearm possession. In 2014 the soldiers finally decided to leave their unit. 

An investigation was only launched after a mental care worker came in to mediate in 2013, according to the newspaper. A research committee examined the complaints and found that two may be punishable, but the others can't be proven. The punishable complaints were given through to the Public Prosecutor, but the Prosecutor decided not to launch a criminal investigation. According to the Prosecutor, none of the soldiers involved wanted to give a statement or press charges at the time. 

One of the victims decided to do so now. The Koninklijke Marechaussee - a policing force that works as part of the military - launched a criminal investigation. All three victims were or are being treated for psychological trauma they sustained, according to the newspaper. 

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