Van Dijk calls for war crimes report to be brought to light

27 September 2022

Van Dijk calls for war crimes report to be brought to light

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SP MP Jasper van Dijk wants the government to provide clarification on an important document that "went missing" at the Ministry of Defence. It concerns a report by Dutch soldiers about torture and murder of an Afghan farmer in Uruzgan by Australian soldiers in 2010. Van Dijk, together with D66, has asked parliamentary questions.
Van Dijk: " We owe it to journalists to learn that Defence archives are a mess. The case is reminiscent of previous scandals in which important documents were lost at the Ministry of Defence. It is essential that this document is brought to the surface.'

Innocent farmer killed
The Australians claimed that the Afghan man was responsible for making bombs for the Taliban and that one of those bombs had led to the deaths of two Dutch soldiers in Uruzgan. Dutch soldiers had interrogated the suspected Afghan for several days and had concluded that it was a case of mistaken identity. They released the farmer. The Australian troops persisted in their suspicion and went to this farmer's family home. They tortured him and killed him on the spot. Dutch soldiers reported this to their own commanders. But these reports are now lost at the Defence Ministry. There were to have been at least two copies of the report.

SP previously raised questions about war crimes by Australians
In November 2020, the SP Group raised Parliamentary questions about disclosures that Australian troops had killed dozens of Afghan civilians. Questions were also asked about the possible knowledge of Dutch soldiers in these Australian crimes. In December 2020, the government promised to investigate whether Dutch colleagues had reported anything. NRC journalists asked soldiers what they knew, and it turns out that reports of these abuses had been made.

However, the reports are nowhere to be found in Defence or military intelligence archives. To date, the House has not been informed of the apparent failure of the Defence Department's own investigation.

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