Outraged by the Chinese propaganda, Australia has demanded apology from Beijing for posting a doctored picture on a government Twitter account that showed an Australian army soldier murdering an Afghan child. In a televised address, PM Scott Morrison said China should be “utterly ashamed” using the repugnant image.
The development comes amid escalating political tensions between the two nations. The image projected a veil jab on the alleged war crimes committed by some Australian military members in Afghanistan which surfaced recently in a report released by Australian Defense Force (ADF). The findings of the tribunal which found 25 Australian soldiers responsible for the murders of 39 civilians and prisoners between 2019 and 2013 stoked widespread condemnation and are now being investigated by police. Australia is expected to take against it troops for committing human rights atrocities on the Afghan soil.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a satirical image depicting an Australian solider with a blood-strained knife next to a child. The child is seen carrying a lamb. The ABC reported the fake image appeared to be a reference to unfounded claims that elite Australian soldiers used knives to manslaughter the Afghan teenagers. However, the internal inquiry found no proof to back up the alleged accusations.
The tweet by Foreign Ministry said: “Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, and call for holding them accountable.”
Morrison described the post as “truly repugnant, deeply offensive, utterly outrageous”.
“The Chinese government should be totally ashamed of this post,” he said.
Australia has also asked Twitter to remove the post for spreading “disinformation”.