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RACISM in the armed forces is appearing with “increasing and depressing frequency,” its official ombudsman warned today.
Nicola Williams, the service complaints ombudsman for the armed forces, called on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to do more to tackle racism among service personnel.
She said: “I would absolutely say the army and the armed forces have issues with racism which need to be tackled.”
It comes after a high-profile case in September in which an employment judge ruled that two former paratroopers were subjected to “highly offensive” racial harassment.
Nkululeko Zulu and Hani Gue said that they had suffered racial discrimination and harassment and that the army did not take reasonable steps to prevent it.
The tribunal heard that someone had drawn a swastika, a Hitler moustache and the words “f*** off” and “n******” on photographs of the men at their barracks, which was only accessible by key.
Employment judge Richard Baty said it was “unquestionably related to race,” elaborating in a written judgment that the unknown perpetrator sought to create an “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment” for the two men.
An annual report from the ombudsman last year highlighted that the service complaints system was not “efficient, effective or fair.”
The MoD said it is committed to stamping out racism and that anyone behaving in such a way will be disciplined, discharged or dismissed.
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