MOSCOW, June 9 (Sputnik) – Moscow condemns the reported war crimes committed by Australian servicemen during their mission in Afghanistan, urging the authorities to launch an objective investigation and hold those responsible to account, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a Saturday statement.
On Thursday, The Sydney Morning Herald said, citing a confidential defense inquiry, that some soldiers of the Australian elite special forces had allegedly committed war crimes between 2001 and 2016, and were suspected of “unsanctioned and illegal application of violence” and “disregard for human life and dignity” during their mission in Afghanistan. The allegations are currently under investigation, conducted by Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Australia Paul Brereton, according to the newspaper.
“We condemn such acts by the Australian military. We urge the authorities of Australia and Afghanistan to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the circumstances of the committed crimes and hold those responsible to account,” the statement read.
The ministry also cited the July 9, 2017 report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) disclosing several cases of murders committed by Australian servicemen in Afghanistan, including the shooting of a boy in Kandahar Province in 2012. According to the ministerial statement, nobody has been held to account for the crimes.
Australia supports the NATO-led Resolute Support mission to train, advise and assist Afghan troops.