Twenty US marines face charges over Muslim recruit’s suicide

A US marine recruit committed suicide amid a widespread culture of hazing and abuse in his battalion, which could lead to punishments for as many as 20 officers and enlisted leaders.

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

A file photo of US Marines in action.

A young Muslim US Marine recruit jumped off a  building. He was allegedly slapped in the face and called a terrorist by a drill sergeant.

The US Marine Corps have called the 20-year-old’s death a suicide. Siddiqui’s family believe it was the result of harassment, abuse, and humiliation.

The incident has drawn attention to the mistreatment of recruits at the hands of military trainers.

Standing before a Marine podium, Raheel Siddiqui adopts the standard "At-Ease" pose.

Twenty US military personnel may face charges as a result, including commanders and senior enlisted leaders. 

Some have already been fired, including the three most senior Marines in charge of the recruit's unit.

Their punishments could range from being administrative, such as counselling, to the most severe action of military charges and a court-martial.

Anti-Muslim sentiment has been on the rise in America, based on reports from media outlets and civil rights groups. Since the 2015 attacks in Paris, the rate of hate crimes against Muslims in the US has more than tripled.

Last week, the United Nations human rights chief accused US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of spreading "humiliating racial and religious prejudice" and warned of a rise of populist politics that could turn violent.

The rate of suicide among veterans of America's armed forces is about double that of the general public, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA found that veterans who suffered from conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia and chronic pain were particularly vulnerable. 

In 2014, the Pentagon revealed that suicide among active service members is also on the rise.

TRTWorld and agencies