A woman and her family walking behind a cart in rural Afghanistan

Amnesty International urges transparency from ADF inquiry and whistleblower protection

Responding to revelations to air tonight on ABC’s Four Corners program that unarmed civilians were unlawfully killed by Australian special forces in Afghanistan, Amnesty International Australia’s Tim O’Connor said:

People have a right to know if the government they elected and the departments and services they pay for are behaving legally and ethically.

Amnesty International’s Tim O”Connor.

“We remind the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Australian Government that civilian casualties in the field of battle must be avoided if at all possible. Under International law, force must be proportionate, and must not be used when there is high risk of civilian casualties.

“For the ADF to be involved in situations where civilians, including children, have been killed or injured is of grave concern.

“The ADF Inspector-General must fully investigate the claims made in the program and it is critical that the Australian Defence Force is transparent about its involvement, and informs the Australian media and public as soon as possible.

“It is also vital that those whistleblowers who bring to light abuses of power, such as the unlawful killing of civilians, are protected as part of a healthy functioning democracy.”