A video that shows veteran firefighting soldiers violently hitting new recruits in a paramilitary unit has recently gone viral on Chinese websites.
The New York Daily News reports that the five newcomers are seen repeatedly punched, kicked, slapped, whipped with belts and their heads banged against walls by their bullying instructors in Wuhai, Inner Mongolia.
The new recruits were pulled back up after falling down so that the violence can start again. They don’t say a word, and just endure the humiliation.
The 16-minute video was confirmed by Wuhai’s Fire Services Department to be real, the South China Morning Post reported.
Authorities have began an investigation Monday and all responsible soldiers, who report to the country’s Ministry of Public Security, have been suspended.
The fire department issued an apology for the violence, which happened in June 2012, but only emerged this month after the video as leaked online.
"We deeply apologise to the victims and our society," a fire service statement read.
Many viewers were shocked by the footage, so they took to social networking site Weibo to let out their anger.
"My mother cried after watching this video," one blogger said. "How are mothers ever gonna trust their sons with this kind of army?"
The Post reports others shared stories of people they knew who went through similar beatings in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), calling it part of military culture.
“My friend was forced to do the laundry for senior soldiers in his unit everyday, and was asked to buy them cigarettes and meals,” one blogger wrote. “But he joined others into bullying new recruits immediately after his first year.”