Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Inquiry needed into SAS prisoner transfer torture claims

Independent inquiry needed into SAS prisoner transfer torture claims

The Green Party is calling on the Government to establish an independent inquiry into new evidence that New Zealand’s SAS soldiers in Afghanistan have been passing over prisoners who have later been mistreated or tortured, actions which may be in breach of the Geneva Convention.

In the latest edition of Metro, journalist Jon Stephenson provides testimony from those who were tortured after the SAS handed over 55 prisoners to American forces following a 2002 raid in southern Helmand. He also reports on a raid in Wardak province last year, where a prisoner handed over to Afghan troops was badly beaten and only intervention by the SAS prevented him from being murdered. The SAS has also handed over prisoners to the Afghanistan National Directorate of Security, renowned for its torture practices.

“This new evidence shows we can no longer accept the Defence Minister’s assurances that the SAS is not detaining prisoners and handing them over to subsequent torture,” said Keith Locke, Green Party defence spokesperson.

“This is a grave matter because on the evidence New Zealand may be accused of violating the international rules of war. As a party taking prisoners our Defence Force bears some responsibility for any mistreatment afterwards.

“There needs to be an independent judicial inquiry to test the claims made in the Metro article. Neither Labour or National have given Parliament and the public straight answers on this issue.

“An internal inquiry would not suffice, given that the Defence Force has swept this matter under the carpet for the last nine years.

“It has been extremely difficult for MPs like myself to get to the truth, because of an excessive level of official secrecy, including around what arrangements our Defence Force has with the Afghan authorities.

“Last year, I was told in response to a written parliamentary question that the Afghan government had assured us in writing that any detainees passed over would be treated in accordance with humanitarian law. However, I was not allowed to see the wording of that assurance – perhaps because it was not worth the paper it was written on.

“Only an independent inquiry will get the truth out and provide the answers that the public deserve about our activities in Afghanistan,” said Mr Locke.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme

A quick quiz for the weekend. Which political party currently represented in Parliament issued a press release yesterday that contained these stirring passages:
“[We have] long supported a free trade and free movement area between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom…on trade, immigration and investment, New Zealand must favour countries who share our values. New Zealand must do its part to reinforce freedom and democracy around the world by diversifying our markets and building stronger relationships with those who share our values... More>>


Parliament Adjourns: Adjournment Debate: Speaker Trevor Mallard

The 52 Parliament has sat for the last time before the September Election. It sat for 245 days... More>>


E-Cigarettes: Vaping Legislation Passes

Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) ... More>>


National: $4 Billion Investment To End Wellington’s Congestion Woes

A National Government will invest another $4 billion in transport infrastructure across Wellington, igniting the economy and delivering the congestion-busting solutions the region has long been crying out for, National Party Leader Judith Collins says. ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Virtues (and Fluffed Opportunities) Of The Operation Burnham Report

One unspoken rule of thumb in any official public inquiry is : whatever you do, don’t conclude you were made to listen to “a litany of lies” even if the evidence of a deliberate cover-up is right there under your nose. In that respect, the report ... More>>


Horizon Research Limited: How Judith Collins Stopped The Bleeding

Horizon Research includes questions on voting from time to time in its surveys – for both forthcoming referenda and general elections. More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>






InfoPages News Channels