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'Stop the lies' graffiti takes aim at Defence Force

Jonathan Mitchell, Journalist

Fresh graffiti that takes aim at the Defence Force has appeared on Wellington's streets.

Graffiti has popped
up on the streets of Wellington referring to the recently
departed chief of Defence Tim Keating. Photo: RNZ/Jonathan
Mitchell

Graffiti has popped up on the streets of Wellington referring to the recently departed chief of Defence Tim Keating. Photo: RNZ/Jonathan Mitchell

The tag says "Keating is gone, stop the lies" referring to the recently departed chief of Defence, Tim Keating.

It was not the first time tagging has popped up in the capital that targets the military.

RNZ reported in July that graffiti appeared on walls at Balaena Bay, the Old Hutt Road and in Newtown, calling Defence "liars" and accusing the SAS of massacring Afghanistan civilians.

It was put there by a group called the Hit and Run Inquiry Campaign in March and coincided with protests in the capital, including a petition to Parliament calling for an independent inquiry into events in Afghanistan in 2010.

Hit and Run authors Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager believe six civilians were killed and 15 injured in a raid on two Afghan villages in 2010 that involved members of New Zealand's military.

Defence has always denied that and an inquiry was underway.

Hit and Run Inquiry Campaign spokesperson Sarah Atkinson said the fresh graffiti was not put on the streets by members of her group.

"Not direct members, but supporters of our group and we endorse their message and support that," she said.

Ms Atkinson said the graffiti put continued pressure on the military about Afghanistan.

She said she supported the current inquiry.

In a statement to RNZ, Defence said the graffiti had been on the streets for a couple of weeks and was aware of it.

But it was unlikely to take any action to remove the graffiti.


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