The UK authorities ought to set up an unbiased inquiry to evaluate and examine any allegation of illegal killings by British particular forces in Afghanistan, the nation’s Impartial Human Rights Fee (AIHRC) has mentioned.
The fee made the decision after extraordinary allegations of homicide and torture of Afghans had been uncovered by an exhaustive four-year inquiry into Australian particular forces operations in Afghanistan.
The Brereton inquiry uncovered credible proof of 39 alleged murders of Afghans by 25 Australian special forces soldiers and even raised issues some deaths had been offered as “bloodings” – a apply the place younger troopers had been ordered to execute prisoners to be able to get their “first kill”.
Reacting to the report, the Kabul-based AIHRC chairperson, Shaharzad Akbar, characterised the findings as proof that Australian forces had engaged in inhuman acts of violence and brutalisation.
Akbar mentioned the US, UK and different international locations with an armed presence in Afghanistan ought to examine allegations of acts of violence towards Afghan non-combatants, together with detainees and civilians.
She singled out the UK armed forces’ function, saying: “Particularly, the AIHRC calls on the UK to open an unbiased inquiry to evaluate and examine the allegation of illegal killings by UK particular forces.
“Certainly, media reporting, AIHRC’s personal studies and reporting by different human rights teams have documented violations of IHL [international humanitarian law] and the legislation of armed battle by different international locations,’’ she mentioned in a press release launched on Thursday.
“Solely by a collection of unbiased inquiries will we uncover the true extent of this disregard for Afghan life, which normalised homicide, and resulted in struggle crimes.
“Solely by additional investigation, documentation, and engagement with victims will victims’ households proper to reality and justice be met.”
Australian particular forces principally fought in Uruzgan province, however once in a while had been despatched on missions to disrupt the Afghan drug commerce notably in Helmand province the place British forces operated.
As a part of its investigations, the Brereton inquiry liaised with Australia’s coalition companions, together with the UK, the US and Canada, and their particular forces instructions.
Amongst causes given for the liaison was to “confirm whether or not coalition companions who had performed or had been conducting investigations had encountered any proof of struggle crimes by Australian particular forces”.
“No misconduct by Australian SF [special forces] was revealed by this liaison, however many classes which knowledgeable the conduct of the inquiry had been extrapolated,’’ mentioned the report.
The report really useful 36 of the alleged homicide incidents be referred to the Australian federal police for legal investigation.
A spokesperson for the British Ministry of Defence mentioned: “The Australian Defence Power’s report into alleged wrongdoing in Afghanistan doesn’t have an effect on or implicate British service personnel.
“Our armed forces are held to the very best requirements, and the Service Police have carried out in depth and unbiased investigations into alleged misconduct of UK forces in Afghanistan. As of at the moment, not one of the historic allegations underneath Operation Northmoor have led to prosecutions.
“The Service Police and the Service Prosecuting Authority stay open to contemplating allegations ought to new proof, intelligence or info come to mild.”