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Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers: ‘the same blue sky is over us all’

In 2014, four Christian anti-war activists were assaulted and threatened by Australian SAS soldiers on Swan Island. Margaret Pestorious’s report is below. – Ed. WBT.

SAS Soldiers Threatened and Assaulted Australian Citizens Too
In October that year, eight Australian peace activists trespassed on to Swan Island, a military training base just outside of Melbourne.”Four of them were apprehended by plain clothed military personnel on the island. They were bound, hooded, stripped naked and threatened with anal rape,” said Margaret Pestorius from Wage Peace.

Swan island is the training base of SAS 4 Squadron- believed to have close ties to ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organization). There, soldiers are trained to interrogate and torture prisoners: like those tortured and murdered by SAS troops in Afghanistan.

“These are the stories we won’t hear about because some of them are inside the laws of war,” said Margaret.”

In October 2014, brave young Australian citizens tried to get in the way of the crimes. We knew already then that the SAS was committing crimes in Afghanistan. And in response our people had already made incursions onto that base on other occasions to disrupt the preparations for war there, and had blockaded the entrance for several days on different occasions.

Instead of having their right to peaceful protest respected, they were treated like enemy combatants in Afghanistan. This week, we have seen how this treatment existed within a culture of extraordinary violence within the SAS,” Ms. Pestorius said.”

We don’t know the names of the men who assaulted the peace activists. They broke the law by not identifying themselves before they conducted the assault.” said Pestorius

“They have never been held to public account. In fact the civil case dropped from sight indicating some sort of gagging which has been the pattern over 20 years: silence, invisibility”.

With revelations this week that more than 20 soldiers will be investigated for war crimes in Afghanistan, Pestorius says the links are clear.

“The SAS and Australian military have no regard for human rights or the law. They are willing to cover up the assault and torture of Australian citizens on Australian soil.

When we look at the murders in Afghanistan and the torture on Australian soil, Australians should be very worried about what is happening in our name elsewhere.”

“Peace activists have spent the last 20 years, opposing this violence. Before whistleblowers emerged, we took broad risks to speak out about the pointlessness, cruelty and violence of the war in Afghanistan. We have pointed to lies. We have pointed to the crimes. We predicted the outcome from the beginning.

“We are grateful to massive risks taken by Julian Assange and David McBride and call for both dreadful prosecutions to be dropped. And we acknowledge the journalists who have persisted in seeking out the lies and who have stood with us and covered our work.

“Sometimes, though, ordinary people should be listened to over the noise of the corporations making money and the generals building their careers,” said Ms Pestorius

Margaret Pestorius
Wage Peace
P: 0403214422
E: pestoriusm@gmail.com
W: www.wagepeaceau.org
W: www.beyondwar.org.au
T/I: @wagepeaceau @beyondwarau @pestoriusm
F: https://www.facebook.com/wagepeaceau/ _______________________________

I live on Aboriginal Land Never ceded.
Mostly Yidindji Territory
But also that of the Yuggera.

I was born on the Land of the Turrbul.
#LestweForget the #FrontierWars_______________________________

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