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Racism in the Armed Services

Posted 165 days ago | 03.07.19

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Racism in the Armed Services

An employment tribunal  heard that Hani Gue,a former paratrooper, suffered racial abuse and said that racism was prevalent in his battalion. Mr Gue said that he saw Nazi, Confederate and SS flags and photographs of Adolf Hitler displayed in accommodation at Colchester.

Mr Gue and his colleague L/Cpl Nkulueko Zulu have taken the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to a tribunal alleging they suffered racial discrimination. The MoD is contesting the claims.

Mr Gue joined the Army in 2012 before transferring to 3rd Battalion (3 Para) A Company, based at Merville Barracks.

In his statement Mr Gue, who describes himself as a black African of Ugandan nationality, recalled colleagues using racist language to describe Kenyan soldiers during a deployment to the country.He changed his Muslim surname of Hassan for fear that it could make him more likely to be a target, said racism was often passed off as banter.

He also said photographs of himself and Mr Zulu, from South Africa, were pinned to the door of his room daubed with swastikas, Hitler moustaches and racist language.

Mr Gue, asked to leave the Army in January last year and he said that : Nazi, Confederate and SS flags and photographs of Hitler were displayed in A Company's accommodation a stone's throw away from the battalion headquarters.

He said the alleged abuse, which included people smashing bottles and urinating in the corridor where he was staying, had an extreme psychological impact on him. He added: "Unfortunately, my experiences of racial harassment and discrimination during the course of my employment have led me to realise that the Army is not the honourable institution I once thought it to be.”

Mr Gue and Mr Zulu say they were racially abused, harassed and that the Army did not take reasonable steps to prevent it. The MoD said the armed forces take complaints very seriously and at least one incident was referred to the Royal Military Police..

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