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Image of Australian Soldier Killing Afghan Child is Fake

Yassin Osman Yassin Osman
30th November 2020
Image of Australian Soldier Killing Afghan Child is Fake
The picture is doctored(Screenshot).

The Claim

An image depicts an Australian soldier killing an Afghani child. 

Emerging story

The spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of China, Zhao Lijian, tweeted a graphic picture of an Australian soldier slitting the throat of an Afghan boy on 30 November. The caption in the image reads ‘Don’t be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace!’ The image has gone viral, having been retweeted nearly 4000 times and has received nearly 22 000 likes.

Other users have also taken to Twitter to repost the image and vent their frustration towards the Australian government.

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar has found that the viral image is fake and has been doctored. The Chinese spokesman who tweeted the image was making reference to the findings of the Brereton report, a 4-year investigation that found that Australian special forces soldiers committed 39 murders against civilians and prisoners in Afghanistan during the invasion. Such killings during an armed conflict would constitute war crimes under international criminal law- thus invoking the jurisdiction of the ICC, unless Australia prosecutes the alleged war criminals in its domestic courts. Thirteen of the soldiers now face dismissal for the alleged killings and torture.

Following the publication of the image by the Chinese official, Prime Minister Scott Morrison described it as ‘repugnant’, demanding the removal of the image and an apology. This is the latest spat in the months-long deteriorating relationship between China and Australia. The artist of the fake image had released a video describing the image as “creativity inspired by reality” and would be posting another similar image in response to PM Morrison’s demand for an apology.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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