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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 03:59 GMT
Brazil army probes torture video
Brazilian soldiers (archive)
An inquiry into the torture allegations is under way
The army in Brazil has launched an investigation after images of soldiers being beaten and tortured by their superiors were shown on television.

Globo TV broadcast a video and pictures of what it said were recently promoted sergeants apparently being subjected to initiation ceremonies.

They involved electric shocks, beatings and burning with electric irons.

The army admitted the video was authentic and suspended the battalion commander while the inquiry takes place

'Isolated'

At least five soldiers were reportedly beaten and tortured by their superiors.

The images showed the men having their ears burned with an electric clothes iron, receiving electric shocks on their stomachs, as well as being beaten and kicked.

They were forced to ask superiors for help and say that they "loved" them.

Battalion commander Ernani Lunardi Filho said that the incident happened without his knowledge and was strongly condemned by the institution.

"This is not part of the training. This is an isolated practice, involving only sergeants who played pranks on other sergeants," he told Brazilian media.

The video footage and the pictures were shown on Sunday on Globo's programme Fantastico.

The network said that the images had been obtained from the second company of the 20th armoured infantry battalion in the southern city of Curitiba, and that they were taken by the men who carried out the torture session.

All the officers allegedly involved in the incident were expected to testify on Monday, Brazilian media reported.




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