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Finnish Defence Forces probe conscript in military gear at Tampere neo-Nazi demo

Defence Force officials have confirmed that the individual who appeared at a neo-Nazi demonstration wearing MO5 military camouflage gear in Tampere last weekend is a serving conscript. The case is under investigation.

Sotilaspukuinen varusmies mielenosoittajien joukossa
The conscript was seen among neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement demonstrators last weekend. Image: Yle

Finnish defence officials say they are looking into the case of a conscript who appeared at a neo-Nazi demonstration in Tampere last Saturday wearing MO5 military camouflage gear.

The Defence Forces announced the start of an official investigation via Twitter on Tuesday.

However they say that the young man in question has not yet been interviewed.

"He will be questioned and then we will gather all the facts related to this [case]. After that we will make a decision about possible disciplinary action," Defence Forces online communications chief Anna Lind said.

She said that the individual’s identity is known to Defence Command, which is handling the case.

Rules prohibit wearing gear at political protests

The conscript was seen at a demonstration by the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement in Tampere last Saturday in what is considered official Defence Forces kit.

The general rules of service prohibit defence personnel and conscripts from actions such as participating in political demonstrations wearing their service uniforms.

Lind said that the case is one of a kind.

"There hasn’t been anything similar. We have had notifications about situations when there have been demonstrations in front of a metro station, for example, and people have entered the metro wearing our clothing. They have taken photos and asked whether or not the individual was part of the demonstration," she explained.

The case was first reported by the Tampere-based daily Aamulehti. The paper wrote that the appropriate use of military uniforms is explained to everyone who has completed military service.

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