Wellington, June 5, 2017
Contrary to an inaccurate Amnesty International press release and subsequent media reports, the New Zealand government has not been ordered to investigate the allegations made in the book ‘Hit & Run.’
The Government has received a list of issues from the United Nations ‘Committee Against Torture’ as part of a routine reporting process.
We are one of 161 parties to the Convention Against Torture to receive such a list and we have two years to respond to this seventh periodic report.
Unfortunately, the issue raised by the Committee is based on factual inaccuracies.
The allegations made by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson were disproven and the Chief of Defence Force held a press conference detailing the New Zealand Defence Force raid in Afghanistan in 2010.
I would also like to point out that the findings of the International Security Assistance Force investigation undertaken in 2010 after Operation Burnham were available to the United Nations Assistance Mission – Afghanistan at the time.
We will be responding to the Committee’s request for information but I want to be clear that this is not a criticism of New Zealand, or its Defence Force.
The Committee will make its conclusion about the 33 issues raised after we’ve responded, as required, by 2019.
Gerry Brownlee is New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs