Afghan Military deserter Hekmatullah, who murdered three off-duty Australian troopers in 2012 in a cold-blooded crime of betrayal, is being transferred to a detention facility in Qatar by the Authorities of Afghanistan.
We perceive Hekmatullah can be held in detention in Qatar with 5 different extremely delicate prisoners. These six prisoners had been convicted of killing Coalition troopers, or civilian humanitarian staff, in a sequence of insider assaults. The Authorities of Qatar has undertaken to the Authorities of Afghanistan and to the US to maintain these detainees confined and remoted.
Australia has steadfastly maintained that Hekmatullah should not be launched. We have now communicated our place repeatedly and constantly and on the highest degree to the Authorities of Afghanistan, which is solely answerable for his custody, and to the US.
In February 2020, the US and the Taliban agreed to a variety of steps, together with the discharge of Afghan Authorities and Taliban prisoners, as goodwill pre-conditions that oblige the Taliban to enter into intra-Afghan negotiations with the Authorities of Afghanistan.
Australia has labored arduous with the US, the Authorities of Afghanistan and different nations, together with the British and French Governments, since February 2020 to maintain Hekmatullah in detention, and to maintain these six delicate prisoners separate from the broader goodwill settlement. That settlement has already seen the discharge of some 5,000 Taliban-associated prisoners and detainees.
Australia just isn’t the one nation that objects to the discharge of this most harmful group of prisoners. Different international locations, together with France, have joined requires harmful criminals to not be launched.
Australia just isn’t a celebration to the intra-Afghan negotiations, nor the US-Taliban discussions. We’re not standing in the way in which of peace talks. We totally assist an Afghan-owned and led peace course of, and all real steps taken in the direction of a simply, sturdy, and resilient peace association. We recognise that there is no such thing as a army answer to violence in Afghanistan. A negotiated political peace settlement is the one option to discover a real conclusion to battle, exterior militant interference, and terrorism. Australia appreciates that the Afghan Authorities, in making the choice to maneuver the prisoners to Qatar, is doing its greatest to recognise and respect the issues of the international locations that wish to see justice served.
The switch of those final six delicate prisoners, together with Hekmatullah, from Afghanistan to a detention facility in Qatar, is a measure determined by the Authorities of Afghanistan and the US as a method of facilitating the beginning of the Intra-Afghan Negotiations, scheduled to start on 12 September, whereas protecting the prisoners detained.
The Australian Authorities’s long-standing place is that Hekmatullah ought to serve a full custodial sentence for the crimes for which he was convicted by an Afghan court docket, and that he shouldn’t be launched as a part of a prisoner amnesty. Australia has communicated this place clearly to the Afghan Authorities and has not supplied any authorisation for Hekmatullah’s launch as a part of any association with the Afghan Authorities. We are going to proceed to advocate our place robustly, wherever he’s being held. Justice and peace are usually not incompatible. Each have a spot in peace preparations.
A simply final result for the prisoner Hekmatullah stays a delicate problem. The Australian Authorities as soon as extra extends its condolences to the households, family members and mates of our three fallen Australian troopers.