GENEVA: A group of countries have condemned the killings of civilians by Australia's overseas military personnel at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, saying "credible reports show Australian soldiers have committed serious war crimes".
Delivering a joint statement on behalf of these countries at the session on Friday, Jiang Duan, Minister of the Chinese mission to the UN in Geneva, urged the Canberra government to carry out comprehensive and fair investigations into reported cases of summary execution, torture of civilians and other gross human rights violations committed by Australia's overseas military personnel, reports Xinhua news agency.
The joint statement called on the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Procedures and civil societies to monitor relevant judicial processes carried out by the Australian government.
The statement also expressed concern over the Australian government's operations of offshore detention centres in third countries.
"In particular, those detention centres fall short of adequate medical conditions where a large number of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers have been detained over a long period of time or even indefinitely, and their human rights have been violated," the statement said.
"We urge Australia to immediately close down all offshore detention centres and take concrete steps to protect the rights of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, especially children," it added.
The statement also voiced concern over the increasing racial discrimination and violence against women, as well as the long-standing insufficiency in the protection of the rights of aboriginal peoples in Australia. (IANS)
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