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Black paratroopers sue the British Army after top brass 'covered up' racial abuse of fellow soldiers

Two black paratroopers are suing the British Army after top brass covered up the racial abuse they suffered from soldiers who decorated their barracks with Nazi flags and pictures of Adolf Hitler, according to legal documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday.

The troops – named as Lance Corporal Zulu and Private Gue – claim senior officers and military police conspired in a bid to prevent the racial harassment and discrimination they endured in the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, ever being made public.

Their case is due to be heard by an employment tribunal after Army lawyers failed in a desperate bid to persuade the presiding judge the soldiers’ claims were inadmissible.

Two black paratroopers are suing the British Army after their barracks was covered in Nazi flags and pictures of Adolf Hitler. A dog was also dressed in Nazi uniform

Judge Jane McNeill QC accused commanders of rejecting their complaints in a bid to prevent scrutiny of the Army.

In their legal submissions, L/Cpl Zulu, from South Africa, and Pte Gue, from Uganda, also suggested military officials lacked the ‘moral courage’ to admit racism is a ‘deeply entrenched problem’ in the Army.

Pictured: Dog dressed in what appears to be German military uniform. L/Cpl Zulu, from South Africa, and Pte Gue, from Uganda, are suing the army claiming it tried to stop the racial abuse from being made public

The documents reveal:

Since the pair left 3 Para last year, top brass have fought to have their claims thrown out by the Army’s Service Complaints Ombudsman (SCO) and then by the employment tribunal.

One of the key points in the soldiers’ legal battle has been whether they can rely on evidence such as the display of Nazi flags and use of derogatory racial terms when this behaviour was not necessarily directed at them.

The Nazi symbols were hung up at Merville barracks in Colchester, Essex

The SCO ruled these behaviours were inadmissible only for Judge McNeill to overrule. 

In her written response, she suggested defence chiefs had sought to stop others hearing of the claims, saying the Army ‘does not explain why is it proportionate it should act as gatekeeper, making determinations of complaints which have the effect of preventing scrutiny’. 

Recent recruitment campaigns have presented the Army as an ideal career choice irrespective of race, gender or religious faith.

But in a joint statement to the employment tribunal, L/Cpl Zulu and Pte Gue suggested racism was allowed to flourish in 3 Para and commanders were fully aware of Nazi flags hanging in an accommodation block near battalion headquarters at Merville Barracks. 

And The Mail on Sunday recently saw an image posted on social media by troops from 3 Para of a pet dog dressed in body armour and a German military hat with SS insignia. The picture is thought to have been taken six weeks ago.

In their statement, L/Cpl Zulu and Pte Gue said: ‘A racist environment is allowed to exist within some areas of 3 Para and not enough is being done by the chain of command to take it seriously or properly sanction those responsible.’ 

They also cited ‘a lack of moral courage amongst other members of the unit who have been bystanders to the events and failed to uphold the Army’s values’.

The MoD confirmed it was continuing to contest the claims. 

A spokesperson said: ‘It would not be appropriate to comment on the case while proceedings are ongoing. 

'The Armed Forces take complaints of harassment and discrimination seriously. All such allegations are investigated thoroughly and the appropriate action is taken.’

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