Source: Reuters

In response to the publication of a report of the killing of 39 Afghan civilians last week, the Australian defence forcer has sent notices of likely dismissal to 10 people. 

These members of the armed forces are suspects of being witnesses or accessories to the killings or providing false testimony regarding investigations over killings of Afghan civilians during the years 2009-13.

19 of the Special Air Services could also be prosecuted for the murders. 

Regarding the incident, formal apologies have been issued by the military commander and the Australian premiere. Afghan authorities termed the killings “unforgivable”, however they welcomed the report and saw it as a step towards justice. 

Two soldiers have already been discharged from duty in connection to these killings. 

The killings of “prisoners, farmers or civilians” were termed a result of “warrior culture” in sections of the armed forces in the report.

Furthermore, it stated that in 23 different incidents 25 members of the special forces were responsible for murders or were involved as accessories to the crime. Regarding the killings, the chief of Australian Defence Force, Gen Angus Campbell, commented that the incidents could not be “described as being in the heat of battle”.

The report uncovered a murderous culture in the Australian Armed forced where senior soldiers would tell juniors to have their first kill by shooting prisoners, in a practice which was called “blooding” by the soldiers. After these murders, weapons and different items were staged around the dead bodies of Afghan civilians to cover up the killings. 

The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, informed that a special investigator would be appointed for future prosecutions using the information uncovered. 

Australia has a presence of around 400 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of ongoing peacekeeping efforts with the US and other allies.

In the past reports have uncovered the use of torture in secret detention sites by the American CIA. Similarly, a British High Court is yet to remark whether the UK had failed to thoroughly investigate accusations of similar violence and murder by the UK special forces. 

And on Thursday, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission also called for the UK “to open an independent public inquiry to review and investigate the allegations of unlawful killings by UK Special Forces”.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here