Australia demands apology from China over fake post of soldier murdering child

30 November 2020, 05:46 | Updated: 30 November 2020, 06:03

The image has been condemned by Australia after it was shared online by a Chinese official
The image has been condemned by Australia after it was shared online by a Chinese official. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Australia has demanded that China apologises for posting a fake image on twitter showing an Australian soldier killing an Afghan child.

Australia's PM Scott Morrison said Beijing should be "utterly ashamed" after sharing the "repugnant" image on an official social media channel.

The image is a reference to alleged war crimes by some Australian soldiers

A report earlier this month found that 25 Australian soldiers were allegedly involved in the murders of 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners between 2009 and 2013. Several Australian soldiers have been said to have taken their lives since.

The findings from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are being investigated by police.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a doctored image which portrayed an Australian soldier with a bloody knife next to a child. The child is seen holding a lamb.

The image bore the caption: "Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians & prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, & call for holding them accountable."

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported the image appeared to be a reference to unsubstantiated rumours that elite Australian soldiers used knives to murder two Afghan teenagers

Mr Morrison said: "It is utterly outrageous and cannot be justified on any basis.

"The Chinese government should be utterly ashamed of this post. It diminishes them in the world's eyes."