Media Statement – 19 November 2020

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Due process must be afforded in ADF Inquiry outcome

The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) says all personnel suspected of alleged war crimes in Afghanistan are entitled to due process.

This follows the Government’s announcement of the pending appointment of a special investigator on the release of the Inspector-General’s report and the investigation by New South Wales’ Justice Paul Brereton into alleged unlawful killings and other possible breaches of law.

The RSL views the allegations as extremely serious and speculation has already impacted adversely on veterans who served in Afghanistan and their families.

RSL National President Greg Melick said the organisation was aware of the significant strain this matter had placed on veterans, even those not involved in alleged incidents.

“Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel serve in a unique and highly challenging environment and the allegations, resulting inquiry and report have caused considerable distress and mental health concerns.
The RSL is committed to supporting all serving and ex-serving members of the ADF through the provision of wellbeing and general support to veterans and their families”.

“We encourage any former or serving personnel suffering adverse impacts and distress to immediately contact their local RSL Sub-Branch for direction to access wellbeing and other support services or call Open Arms on 1800 011 046,” General Melick said.