UPDATED: Australian soldier filmed shooting unarmed Afghan in 2012 identified, suspended from duty
This story has been updated on 20/03/2020 at 9.10am
Update: The Australian Department of Defence has issued a news release that said the soldier referred to as ‘Soldier C’ in the recent Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners program has today been identified and suspended from duty.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds has issued a statement saying that she has referred the incident to the Australian Federal Police.
In the program, first aired on the 17th of March, the soldier was seen shooting an unarmed Afghan man as he lay on the ground during an operation in Afghanistan in 2012 (watch the full episode below).
Defence reiterated that “the Australian Defence Force conducts its operations under strict rules of engagement and promotes a culture of ethical and lawful behaviour. These rules and cultural norms are enforced according Defence’s obligations under Australian and international law.”
[Original story follows]
Australian Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds has responded to last night’s episode of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners program, which showed, among other things, an Australian SAS soldier appearing to execute an unarmed Afghan man at point-blank range while the latter was sitting on the ground during a raid against suspected Taliban.
The footage was captured by a helmet camera of a dog handler during the daylight raid, which occurred in May 2012 near the Afghan village of Deh Jawz-e Hasanzai.
The SAS troops were tasked with finding a Taliban bombmaker believed to be in the area.
“I am deeply disturbed by what has been aired in tonight’s Four Corners report,” said Senator Reynolds, adding that “I have been steadfast in my support for the IGADF Inquiry which is investigating allegations about the conduct of Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan over the period 2005 to 2016. Where serious allegations are raised, Australians would rightly expect they are thoroughly examined.”
Senator Reynolds also said that Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell has advised her that the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) will soon provide a report on the findings of the Afghanistan Inquiry.
The Four Corners episode also aired numerous instances of alleged misconduct by members of the ADF during a 2012 deployment in Afghanistan, mostly described by Braden Chapman, a former signals intelligence officer with 3 Squadron SAS who was on that 2012 deployment.
Watch the full episode of Four Corners here (Warning: Disturbing content)