Wreath laying for Afghan civilians
Wreath laying for Afghan civilians killed in Operation Burnham
24th April 2017
Peace Action Wellington and friends will be joining 2017 ANZAC events in Wellington to remember six civilians killed in Afghanistan in 2010, allegedly by the New Zealand SAS. Peace Action Wellington and friends will honour the civilians who were killed and call for an end to war with a solemn, respectful stand at the dawn service at Pukeahu and by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph at 9am.
The recent book 'Hit and Run' by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson contended that our military and SAS are responsible for the deaths of 6 civilians and injuries of many others in a 2010 raid on two villages in Afghanistan. These allegations must be investigated fully and independently to establish whether a war crime under international law has occurred.
Even in war there are rules. The New Zealand SAS have a duty to follow these rules and if not, we should hold them accountable. Hit and Run whistleblowers include Minister of Defence at the time, Wayne Mapp, and SAS members who have spoken out against their own conduct in Afghanistan. The people of New Zealand have the right to know whether innocent people in Afghanistan were killed and injured by NZDF soldiers or those acting on their intelligence or under their command. If we know what has happened, then we can put things right.
Peace Action Wellington call for an end to NZ's involvement in foreign wars and call for Bill English to immediately instate a full inquiry into the raid on two villages in Operation Burnham. We remember those civilians who were killed, stand in solidarity with the injured and the families of those killed in Afghanistan. We stand against war.