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Madrid's Complutense University

SPAIN Three 18-year-old students locked themselves in their dormitory for four days in protest against being subjected to "denigrating" initiation ceremonies.

The male residents of the Jimenez de Cisneros hall of residence at Madrid's Complutense University allege they were among 45 freshers who were woken up during the night, lined up and forced to have cold showers if they failed to recite the 150 names of their fellow students.

The older residents at the hall admitted there were a number of such ceremonies which take place in every Spanish hall of residence to give the freshers a chance to "become integrated".

The education authorities have traditionally turned a blind eye to these ritual humiliations. This year the vice-rector of Complutense has told students to report them.

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