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Chinese official tweets falsified image of Australian soldier murdering child

Extra.ie logo Extra.ie 05/12/2020 Eva Wall

A Chinese official has tweeted a falsified image of an Australian soldier appearing to murder a child.

On Monday, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, tweeted a graphic image purporting to show a smiling Australian soldier holding a bloodied knife to the throat of a veiled child, who is holding a lamb.

The tweet read: ‘Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, & call for holding them accountable.’

A Chinese official has tweeted a falsified image of an Australian soldier appearing to murder a child. Pic: Twitter © Provided by Extra.ie A Chinese official has tweeted a falsified image of an Australian soldier appearing to murder a child. Pic: Twitter

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has slammed the Chinese Government for allowing the image to be posted and has demanded an apology.

The Australian Government has asked Twitter to remove the image, arguing that it contains ‘disinformation’.

Mr Morrison described the post as ‘truly repugnant, deeply offensive and utterly outrageous’.

Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has slammed the Chinese Government for allowing the image to be posted, and has demanded an apology. Pic: Getty Images © Provided by Extra.ie Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has slammed the Chinese Government for allowing the image to be posted, and has demanded an apology. Pic: Getty Images

He added: ‘The Chinese Government should be totally ashamed of this post. It diminished them in the world’s eyes. It is a false image and terrible slur on our defence forces.’

The controversial tweet follows a report published earlier in November by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) that found ‘credible information’ linking 25 Australian soldiers to the deaths of 39 Afghan prisoners and civilians between 2009 and 2013.

The findings of the ADF report are under police investigation following widespread condemnation of the alleged war crimes.

Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie: On Monday, Mr Morrison insisted that Australia has established a transparent process to investigate the alleged war crimes, as befits a ‘democratic, liberal’ country. Pic: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images © Provided by Extra.ie On Monday, Mr Morrison insisted that Australia has established a transparent process to investigate the alleged war crimes, as befits a ‘democratic, liberal’ country. Pic: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Mr Morrison and ADF Lieutenant General Rick Burr have apologised following the publication of the report, and it has been suggested that 19 Special Air Service troops could face prosecution of murder charges, while 13 more have been issued with notices of likely dismissal following accusations of accessories or witnesses to the killings, or of lying while testifying.

On Monday, Mr Morrison insisted that Australia has established a transparent process to investigate the alleged war crimes, as befits a ‘democratic, liberal’ country.

Mr Morrison went on to acknowledge the fact that there are ‘undoubtedly’ tensions between his Government and Chinese authorities, but added: ‘This is not how you deal with it.’

Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie: He warned Beijing that other countries around the world were watching its actions towards Australia. Pic: James D. Morgan/Getty Images © Provided by Extra.ie He warned Beijing that other countries around the world were watching its actions towards Australia. Pic: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

He warned Beijing that other countries around the world were watching its actions towards Australia.

The image posted by Zhao Lijian appears to reference allegations that two Australian soldiers killed 14-year-old Afghan boys with knives, but the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that the ADF did not substantiate these accusations in its findings.

However, the ADF did find ‘credible evidence’ of unlawful killings as well as indications of a ‘warrior culture’ within elite units.

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