A macabre report by the Australian Army confirmed thirty-nine unarmed people from Afghanistan, including civilians, farmers, and prisoners were brutally killed by special Australian forces stationed in the nation, as per evidence.
Australian soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan since 2002 as a part of the US-led war on terrorism to counter the radical Islamic sect of Taliban that operates from Afghan soil.
As per media reports, 19 soldiers from the Australian army have been identified, to have been evidently associated with the bloodshedding of innocent people. They face potential legal prosecution.
Unveiling a long-awaited report on the conduct of the special Australian forces stationed overseas, Australia’s General Angus John Campbell said Thursday, that the horrifying information was credible and the killings were outside the ‘heat of battle.’
The damning report comes a few days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrisons pre-emptively hinted the report could bring hard-to-believe news for the Aussies.
In twenty-three separate incidents, twenty-five Australian Special Forces personnel, predominantly from the Air Force, were involved in slaying thirty-nine Afghan people, including civilians and prisoners, most of them were unarmed.
“To the people of Afghanistan, on behalf of the Australian defense force, I sincerely and unreservedly apologize for any wrongdoing by Australian soldiers,” General Angus John Campbell said in a media address.
“Such leached behaviors profoundly disrespected the trust placed in us by the Afghan people. The unlawful killing, of civilians, and prisoners are never acceptable,” he said.
Australian media says the reports are bad enough to trigger fears of terrorist attacks in the nation, as well as overseas. The national security officials are reportedly on high alert.
The report found overwhelming evidence that the human rights violations were predominantly carried at the Army’s patrol commander level, where responsibility resides.
“It is a truth, or at least an allegation of a truth, that we must face up to and, hence, we need to be alert and just be aware of our circumstances, depending on where people are in the world,” Campbell said in the address.
Giving further details from the report, Campbell said the killings began in 2009 with the majority happening in 2012 and 2013, and the Aussie forces would shoot innocent civilians and farmers to achieve their first-kill called ‘blooding.’
After the sin was committed the Aussie soldiers would reportedly use a bomb and radio to draw a picture that enemies were killed in action.
“The report notes that the distorted culture was embraced and amplified by some experienced, charismatic, and influential non-commissioned officers and their proteges who sought to fuse military excellence with ego, elitism, and entitlement,” General Campbell said.
Demand for justice pours in
Human Rights Watch organization’s Australia division has demanded prompt, independent criminal investigations leading to appropriate prosecutions, the NGO said Wednesday.
It has urged the Australian government to provide swift and appropriate compensation to the affected families of the 39 victims who were killed in the elitist-minded killings.
“Canberra needs to learn lessons from the UK’s failed efforts to prosecute soldiers implicated in war crimes in Iraq and ensure that no government minister has the power to interfere, direct, or prevent investigations and prosecutions,” Human Rights Watch agency’s Australia head Elaine Pearson said.
“When the rumors were first raised with me late in 2015, I had the sense that there was something here. But I never expected to read some of the material that I have reviewed over the last two weeks,’’ Campbell said.