• Germany's news in English
 

German sailors in suspected racist mutiny

Published: 27 Feb 2013 11:16 GMT+01:00

The victim holds the rank of bosun – the equivalent of a staff sergeant in the army – and is German-born but of Thai descent, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

At least four first mates – the equivalent of sergeants in the army - dragged their superior officer out of his bunk late at night on February 15th, while the German Navy's warship the Hermelin was docked in Beirut harbour.

They taped the man, who was only wearing underwear, to a table before writing “this is where the mongs live” on his legs, the paper said.

“All investigations we've conducted so far have shown that the incident [did not have a] xenophobic background,” control command told the paper, adding it did not appear alcohol had played a role in the attack either.

At least four first mates are thought to have been involved in the incident and were sent back to Germany to face disciplinary action, the paper said. The state prosecutor in Rostock is expected to investigate further.

The victim has remained on board, where the Marines will continue with their UN mission off the Lebanese coast.

The paper suggested that because the boat was so small – the Hermelin is just over 60 metres long – it was likely that other crew members were culpable in the incident in that they looked on without intervening to prevent it.

Two sailors took photos of the incident with their phones and were later ordered to delete them. At least 13 people were interrogated in relation to the incident, wrote the paper.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:20 February 27, 2013 by Bier_me
There's a big difference between hazing, which is what was described in this article and mutiny. 4 enlisted dudes tying up a rank equivalent of a staff sargeant is not a mutiny and he is not their superior officer. He may outrank them, but he is not an officer and not their overall commander. In no way is he in charge of the ship, so how can you have a mutiny?
12:23 February 27, 2013 by pepsionice
Man, you would have to really squeeze the heck out of this story....to say mutiny is possible. I would suggest that you go back and view the stories from the 1700s and how mutinies tend to work. If you held down the flag guy, or the cook, or the chief electrician on board the vessel....that just isn't mutiny.
12:49 February 27, 2013 by thosesocks
It also seems ridiculous to call it a "suspected racist mutiny" when the source you quote in the article (who would know what they're talking about, unless you're accusing them of being in on the racism?) says specifically that it did *not* have a xenophobic background. Sounds like milking the incident to the point of lying, Local.
12:50 February 27, 2013 by raandy
Mutiny, I think not. This was just hazing amongst enlisted personell as Bier_me has stated. It shows how far the overzealous PC controllers have come.
15:40 February 27, 2013 by catjones
'naval sailors' is redundant.
18:45 February 27, 2013 by Bigfoot76
On small naval craft, the chain of command tends to slide to the lower end. An extreme instance is that an Admiral is obviously not going to be in command of a rubber patrol raft. I doubt the victim was the "C/O" of the boat but he may have been left in command. In that situation he would be the officer in charge even without being an officer. In which case Mutiny could in theory happen.

Still, whomever it is that wrote this piece should return to writing for the classified adds.
20:44 February 27, 2013 by twisted
And they are not marines, but sailors....Jeez.
21:39 February 27, 2013 by farmy
Being a former Marine, this sounds like a normal day in the navy.
21:49 February 27, 2013 by Englishted
@twisted

Aren't sailors people on ships/boats that are powered by the wind or under sail?

I know mariners are not in the armed forces but on civilian ships/boats .

So isn't there a new word for military men/women controlling ship/boats .

Now I have worn out my / tab time for a new keyboard.
10:06 February 28, 2013 by ATM
This is not a mutiny. Could be just sailors/soldiers ragging each other. But the guy that got tied up did not see it that way so they should have stopped. Maybe there had been some ongoing issues. I think the headline for this story was a bit of a stretch.
13:36 February 28, 2013 by princigalli
They are sending these kinds of people in Lebanon? Germany won't look very good there like this.
22:59 February 28, 2013 by Mark S.
In most military organizations, it is a very serious crime to physically attack someone of superior rank. Some of the comments want to quibble over whether it is "muntiy", but that is splitting hairs.

If you can trust wikipedia: Als Meuterei gilt (§ 27) nach dem deutschen Wehrstrafgesetz, wenn sich Soldaten zusammenrotten und eine gemeinschaftlich begangene Gehorsamsverweigerung (§ 20), eine Bedrohung (§ 23), Nötigung (§ 24) oder einen tätlichen Angriff (§ 25) gegen einen Vorgesetzten durchführen.

Was there an "Angriff" against "Vorgesetzten"? "dragged their superior officer out of his bunk" sure sounds like it.
10:27 March 1, 2013 by wenddiver
He is lucky much worse didn't happen to him. Only a really stupid person goes wandering around by himself in the bowels of a warship if he is the slightest bit unpopular. I took Naval ROTC at Southern University and our Commander always reminded the Midshipmen about what First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill said "Rum and Sodomy maybe facts of Naval life, but they are not actual traditions". Needless to say all Midshipmen gave the Sailors their privacy unless performing a necessary duty after that.

Sailors live cramped lives away from family, friends, and bars,sluts, decent Gambling facilities when at Sea,in a dangerous enviroment full of bad weather and bland food, so you have to understand a certain amount of pent up energy amongst young fighting men. Nobody ever glorifies the young NATO Destroyer crews that keep the Sea in the North Atlantic, so that the supply lines from America that keep Europe Free are maintaned, and were maintained throughout theCold War.

No need for an outside investigation, the Ship's Captain could call them before a Captain's Mast and dock their pay or lock them in the Ship's Brigg on Bread and Water for awhile.There was no intention to refuse an order or take the ship, so a charge of Mutiny would not hold water.
11:09 March 2, 2013 by Roberto Gold
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
Today's headlines
German women have World Cup in their sights
Germany are among the favourites. Photo: DPA archive

German women have World Cup in their sights

After getting their hands on the world cup in 2003 and 2007, the German women’s national team are trying to make it three out of the last four this summer in Canada. READ  

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'
"I don't need to justify it because it's in the Bible". Photo: DPA

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'

A head teacher at a state school in Munich is attempting to introduce a strict Christian regime by hanging crosses in the classroom and holding daily prayers. He's within the law, but parents and pupils are beginning to resist. READ  

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic
Stock image of baby ducks running. Photo: DPA.

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic

Police officers and a fire fighter crane were called in to rescue five orphaned baby ducks on Friday, stopping autobahn traffic briefly to escort them to safety. READ  

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan
The region of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. Photo: DPA

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan

An employee of the German International Development Agency (GIZ) has been released from captivity in northern Afghanistan after being taken prisoner by the Taliban six weeks ago. READ  

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet
Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron arrive at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet

Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron presented a newly united front at a Berlin press conference on Friday, after their first meeting where the UK premier set out his demands for reform of the European Union. READ  

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’
Photo: DPA

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’

The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) have told the BBC that if the UK were to leave the EU it would be disastrous for both countries. READ  

At last, Germany has a new Top Model
Vanessa is over the moon. Photo:DPA

At last, Germany has a new Top Model

Everyone can breath easily again. Despite a delay of two weeks due to a bomb threat, Heidi Klum has finally been able to choose Germany’s next top model - a 19-year-old from her own home town. READ  

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football
Steinmeier had harsh words for FIFA. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football

Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday that if world football can't clear up "poisonous" corruption, state bodies need to step in, amid a graft scandal engulfing governing body FIFA. READ  

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden
G7 finance ministers in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden

Debt-wracked Greece's battle to hammer out a deal with its creditors dominated a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations in Dresden on Thursday, with officials insisting much work still lay ahead. READ  

EU investigates Germany over airport security
Photo: DPA

EU investigates Germany over airport security

The European Commission said on Thursday that it had referred Germany to the EU Court of Justice for failing to regularly check up on its airport security measures at some airports. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Fassbinder's blaze of glory
Rhineland
Defusing Cologne's giant WW2 bomb
Travel
1,000 years of Leipzig
National
Cops have nothing to go on after ministry toilet theft
Sport
The hidden history of FC Bayern Munich
Technology
In future, we may all be scraping drones off windshields
National
The 65-year-old who gave birth to quadruplets
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,699
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd