A Muslim-American Marine Recruit Was Thrown Into An Industrial Dryer By Drill Instructor, Exposing Pattern Of Abuse On SC Base

By 09.14.16
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On March 18th, Muslim-American Marine Raheel Siddiqui stationed in Parris Island, South Carolina tossed himself off a third floor stairwell railing in the training barracks and fell 40 feet to his death. He was 20.

The cause of the suicide is believed to be due to the incessant hazing from his drill instructor, who reportedly constantly referred to him as a “terrorist” and asked him if he needed his turban, according to Military.com.

Five days before his death, the 20-year-old Michigan native expressed a desire to kill himself, and was evaluated at the depot’s mental health unit, where he repudiated his statement and expressed a wish to return to training.

But on the morning of his death, Siddiqui approached his drill instructor and presented him with a note to go to medical with a severely swollen throat, claiming he had lost his voice and coughed up blood the night before. His instructor not only denied his request, but required him to do “get-backs,” or 150-foot back-and-forth sprints in the barracks.

Moments later, Siddiqui dropped to the floor clutching his throat. In an attempt to get him to come to, his instructor allegedly slapped him in the face so hard it echoed throughout the squad bay. The recruit became alert, ran out of the squad bay and threw himself over the stairwell railing.

Despite being airlifted to a hospital in Charleston where he received blood transfusions and emergency surgery, Raheel Siddiqui died just after 10 am.

Siddiqui’s story launched an investigation into the practices used at Parris Island, which uncovered the alleged regular use of ethnic and homophobic slurs by drill instructors, as well as instructors ordering repeated, unauthorized physical training that sometimes injured recruits.

According to Washington Post,

A Muslim Marine said he was called a terrorist and ordered into an industrial clothes dryer multiple times by a drill instructor who then turned it on, burning him, according to investigative documents that provide new details about the alleged abuse of recruits at the service’s training center at Parris Island, S.C.

“You’re going to kill us all the first chance you get aren’t you, terrorist?” the drill instructor thundered at the recruit, the new Marine later alleged, according to the documents that have not been released publicly but were reviewed by The Washington Post. “What are your plans? Aren’t you a terrorist?”

The former recruit said he was kept in the dryer long enough that his neck and arm started to burn and he began to cry, according to the documents.

Following the conclusion of three investigations into several abuse allegations, service officials announced last week that 20 members of Parris Island’s staff could face criminal charges or administrative discipline.

[h/t Military.com, Washington Post]

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