Al­leged civil­ian mur­ders Call for UK in­quiry

The Guardian - - World -

The UK should es­tab­lish an in­de­pen­dent in­quiry to in­ves­ti­gate any al­le­ga­tions of un­law­ful killings by Bri­tish spe­cial forces in Afghanista­n, the lat­ter’s In­de­pen­dent Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion (AIHRC) has said.

The call was made af­ter al­le­ga­tions of mur­der and tor­ture of Afghans were un­cov­ered by an ex­haus­tive four-year in­quiry into Aus­tralian spe­cial forces op­er­a­tions in Afghanista­n. The Br­ere­ton in­quiry un­cov­ered ev­i­dence of 39 al­leged mur­ders of Afghans by 25 Aus­tralian sol­diers, and raised con­cerns that some deaths had been “blood­ings” in which young sol­diers were or­dered to ex­e­cute pris­on­ers to get their “first kill”.

The Kabul-based AIHRC chair, Sha­harzad Ak­bar, said the find­ings were ev­i­dence that Aus­tralian forces had en­gaged in in­hu­mane acts. She said the US, UK and other coun­tries with an armed pres­ence in Afghanista­n should in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions. “In par­tic­u­lar, the AIHRC calls on the UK to open an in­de­pen­dent in­quiry to re­view and in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tion of un­law­ful killings by UK spe­cial forces … Only through fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, doc­u­men­ta­tion and en­gage­ment with vic­tims will vic­tims’ fam­i­lies’ right to truth and jus­tice be met.”

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