The Marine Corps is set to hold a hearing later in March to decide whether charges are warranted against an unnamed drill instructor for harassing a Muslim recruit, who later jumped off a stairwell to his death.
According to Democratic Sen. Gary Peters, who learned about the hearing and passed off the information to the Detroit Free Press, the Marine Corps has set a preliminary Article 32 hearing for the unnamed drill instructor, which may result in criminal charges, Detroit Free Press reports.
The Muslim recruit, 20-year-old Raheel Siddiqui, jumped to his death March 18, 2016, at Parris Island, after allegedly undergoing serious hazing, namely, being slapped, called a “terrorist” by the drill instructor and denied a request for medical attention regarding a sore throat.
“I do know the Marine Corps has treated this with the seriousness that it deserves,” Peters said.
Attorney for the Siddiqui family Shiraz Khan said the family is shocked that no charges have yet been made nearly a year after Raheel jumped to his death less than two weeks after he started boot camp.
“It is the most difficult time they have ever had to endure, and each and every day without him — and without having charges brought against those responsible for his death — has made it impossible for his family to find peace,” Khan said.
An investigation declared Raheel’s death a suicide, but the family disputes this claim and wants the death reclassified as “unknown” until all investigations have concluded.
The drill instructor should not have been working with Raheel’s platoon, a report said, since he was already in the middle of being investigated for forcing a Muslim recruit into an industrial dryer.
Investigation into Raheel’s death kicked off a series of other allegations of hazing and abuse, specifically, that recruits were choked, beaten and refused food and water.
Marine Corps officials recommended charges for (at least) 20 Marines.
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