12 April 2018
NZDF inquiry: Justice for survivors, accountability to the UN
In response to the Government’s announcement of an inquiry into the allegations made in the book “Hit and Run”, the
acting Executive Director of Amnesty International New Zealand, Meg de Ronde, said, “Last year we called for an
independent inquiry into New Zealand’s potential responsibility for war crimes, so this is welcome news.
“Finding out exactly what happened during that raid is a crucial first step to justice for any possible victims or
survivors,” said de Ronde.
Last year, the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) asked the New Zealand Government to report on what measures it has
put in place in order to fully investigate the allegations relating to Operation Burnham in Afghanistan in 2010. As part
of the seventh periodic report of New Zealand in May 2019, the New Zealand Government will undergo examination by the
Committee in Geneva.
Question 27 reads
, “Please indicate what measures the State party has put in place to ensure that all allegations relating to “Operation
Burnham” – a raid of two villages in the Baghlan province in Afghanistan by the New Zealand Defence Forces on 22 August
2010 – will be fully investigated and addressed.”
De Ronde said, “This is far more than a domestic disagreement on what constitutes a proper inquiry. It’s about New
Zealand’s reputation on the world stage and our responsibilities as a member of the United Nations.
“Clearly, the NZDF investigating itself isn’t good enough – this is a matter of potential war crimes committed in our
name. So it’s encouraging that when our government fronts up in Geneva next year, there is more likely to be faith in