Investigation over Finnish Defence images

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Helsingin Sanomat reports images circulating over the Internet that purport to show male conscripts being sexually abused and humiliated, which turned out to be a prank. They allegedly show conscripts masked and with gas masks over genitals.

In the images, released through Internet forums, soldiers are humiliated by their officers, being forced to act like dogs with other soliders holding their leashes. The Defence Forces communications director Ossi Kervinen considers the matter unfortunate.

The images are strikingly similar to those that came out of the Abu Ghraib prison last year.

Finland has a policy of neutrality, with a requirement of conscription for all men between the ages of 18-30 for 180 to 362 days. However, they can opt to do civil service work instead, which lasts 13 months.

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