The crimes committed by Australian special forces soldiers in Afghanistan have caused an uproar of international public opinion. In addition to the deliberate killing of 39 Afghan civilians, a photo of Australian soldiers drinking with the prosthetic limbs of Taliban soldiers was exposed by the British Guardian. The Australian military said on the 3rd that an investigation has been launched into the matter.
On the 3rd, an Australian Ministry of Defence spokesman said that the military was investigating the use of prosthetic limbs as wine glasses by soldiers. A special investigator’s office has been established to prosecute soldiers for crimes.
Former military lawyer Glenn Kolomitz said that taking possession without the consent of the owner under the Commonwealth Penal Code can be classified as a crime of war plunder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. That is to say, Australian soldiers are forbidden to take trophies from the battlefield, let alone take them for their own.
In response to the photos, former Navy submarine pilot and current Senator Rex Patrick said: “It is the responsibility of the commander to maintain standards and develop a good culture. It is hoped that the perpetrators will be dealt with, and commanders who turn a blind eye to or remain silent about their actions should be dealt with accordingly.
Previously, according to some soldiers, the practice of drinking with prosthetic limbs was tolerated and accepted by their superiors, and some officers were also involved. The Australian Defence Force declined to disclose whether anyone was investigated or transferred from the battlefield for drinking with prosthetic limbs. The Guardian reported that the soldier in the photo is still in service.
The Bretton Report, which exposes the war crimes committed by the Australian Defence Force during the war in Afghanistan, does not directly mention prosthetic limbs or soldiers stealing loot, but this bar appears in the report and serves as an example of the moral corruption of military leadership.
On December 1, a photo exposed by the British Guardian showed that in 2009, an Australian special forces soldier drank beer with the prosthetic limbs of dead Taliban soldiers as a wine set in a bar at an Australian base in Afghanistan. Another photo shows the two soldiers taking pictures with prosthetic limbs in exaggerated positions. The Guardian reported that the owner of the prosthetic limb was a suspected Taliban militant killed by the Australian army that year.