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Veteran condemns stripping of medals amid war crime allegations

Article image for Veteran condemns stripping of medals amid war crime allegations

Veterans are condemning the possibility bravery medals could be stripped from entire Special Forces units.

The Brereton inquiry report has uncovered 39 alleged unlawful killings of prisoners and civilians by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

Soldiers were found to have ritualistically encouraged their comrades to shoot a prisoner to achieve a first kill, known as a “blooding”.

None of the alleged killings occurred in the heat of battle and 19 personnel have been referred for criminal investigation.

 

Retired Special Forces Commander Heston Russell served as a platoon commander of the Second Commando Regiment and told Ben Fordham veterans who have done nothing wrong should not be stripped of their medals.

“I do not understand how on one lens we can say, ‘please do not let the actions of the few tar the many,’ but at the same time tar the many with the same brush.”

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Ben Fordham
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