The Presiding Clerk of Australian Quakers has written to the Prime Minister relating to the Brereton Report and alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. Given the significant involvement of Australia in Afghanistan over many years, Quakers Australia believe a thorough and strong response is warranted. The people of Afghanistan deserve nothing less after the suffering they have endured.
8 April 2021
Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister of Australia
Parliament House ACT 2600
Dear Prime Minister,
I write of behalf of Australian Quakers to seek your support for two initiatives relating to the alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.
We join all Australians in expressing deep concern at the findings of the Brereton Report, and we note especially the following points: (a) 39 Afghans were murdered by Australian special forces in 23 incidents, (b) none of the alleged killings occurred in the heat of battle, and (c) complaints by Afghan human rights groups were ignored. Given the significant involvement of Australia in Afghanistan over many years, we believe a thorough and strong response is warranted. The people of Afghanistan deserve nothing less after the suffering they have endured.
Firstly, we ask that the Government refer the Brereton Report to an appropriate committee (e.g., Joint Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade) for public examination and response. We anticipate that this would give the opportunity for people with relevant experience in Afghanistan to offer submissions and evidence.
Secondly, we ask the Government to extend the current Resilient Agriculture and Livelihoods Initiative for Socio-Economic Empowerment (REALISE) project – supported by DFAT through Action Aid Afghanistan to the Uruzgan province where the killings occurred. The project seeks to especially empower rural women through better nutrition, access to capital, and increasing literacy/numeracy. It would be a clear acknowledgement of the debt owed to the people of that region who assisted Australia’s presence in many ways.
The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia