The Herald has summarised a report in the new Metro on the New Zealand SAS’s role in arresting Afghanis and handing them over for torture. Delivering prisoners for torture is as culpable an act as torture itself. It is a war crime. Everyone who wants our defence forces to be respected must demand it is purged of people who have committed these acts.
In May 2002 the SAS led a mission in the village of Bande Timur, 80km west of Kandahar.
According to Metro, it resulted in the deaths of at least three people, including a small child,
Oops, we blew your kid away. Guess we’ll label him a ‘bad guy’ like this is some B-grade action movie.
and the arrest and torture of many others after the SAS handed 55 prisoners over to US forces.
“They beat us very badly in prison,” one of the prisoners, Abdul Wahid, told Metro.
“They cut off our hair, and they shaved our beards and moustaches.”
Others said they were bound and hooded while dogs rushed at them in a threatening manner, paraded naked in front of Americans, and one was said to have been beaten so severely that he couldn’t move his hands or legs and ended up disabled and in a wheelchair.
The men were later released without charge.
If you were arrested in New Zealand and that was done to you and 54 others you would expect huge compensation and serious terms of imprisonment for everyone involved, not just the torturers but those who aided and abetted as well. Why do Afghanis deserve anything less? Are they less human?
New Zealand is a signatory to a number of international conventions, including the Geneva Convention, against torture and inhumane or degrading treatment of prisoners.
Under the conventions and the Defence Force’s rules, New Zealand troops cannot transfer prisoners to another state unless they are satisfied they will not be tortured or treated inhumanely…
Metro also reveals details about two incidents last year; one where an SAS prisoner was handed to the Afghan National Army, who proposed to tie the man to a vehicle and drag him for over 100 kms of gravel road.
The SAS intervened and handed the prisoner to the Afghan Crisis Response Unit (CRU), who then passed him to the Afghan secret police, the National Directorate of Security (NDS); a British court has banned British forces from handing over prisoners to the NDS in Kabul.
And on Christmas Eve incident in Kabul, an SAS raid resulted in the deaths of two men. The SAS gave its prisoners to the NDS.
Yup. Certainly looks like aiding and abetting. The full story of how the SAS came to kill two Afghani security guards has still to come out.
Coming on top of the report that the SAS killed 12 Afghanis in a revenge attack supposedly targeted at the people who killed a Kiwi soldier last year and the rumours that you here about what really happened in the engagement were Willie Apiata earned his VC, this latest report has to once again raise question of what our SAS is doing in Afghanistan.
There must be a full investigation into these allegations that the SAS is delivering prisoners for torture. This isn’t an anti-Army or anti-SAS thing. It’s about making sure that the good soldiers are not tarnished and that the guilty get their legal punishment. I don’t want the soldiers I know thought of in the same frame as the scum who aid torture (Lynn’s ex-Army, btw). I want the offenders rooted out. New Zealanders should demand nothing less.