Statement from Jon Stephenson

Hit and Run co-author Jon Stephenson has put out the following statement in response to the Government's plan to investigate Operation Burnham:

"I am encouraged by the prime minister’s promise to look into the allegations that civilians were killed and wounded in the 2010 SAS-led raid known as Operation Burnham. 

However, it is essential that any inquiry that is ordered be conducted by an independent authority and not by the New Zealand Defence Force. It is also important that any inquiry be adequately resourced and that its terms of reference enable a credible and thorough investigation.

Several of my sources, who were involved in Operation Burnham and subsequent events, have confirmed that they are prepared to give evidence on oath at any such inquiry. They are confident that an independent and impartial investigation will substantiate the claims of civilian deaths and injuries.

I am also confident that an independent and impartial inquiry will confirm that a New Zealand SAS trooper physically abused a blindfolded and flexi-tied detainee, that this detainee was then transferred to known torturers who proceeded to torture him, and that the NZDF knew about this and covered it up."

Latest news: November 2017

Hit and Run review: Chris Pugsley

Chris Pugsley, military historian and retired infantry officer reviewed Hit and Run in New Zealand Books with the following:


"Hit and Run is an important book, which raises uncomfortable questions that needed to be asked. On the balance of probabilities, the CDF's [Chief of Defence Force's] robust defence  does not stand up to scrutiny -- a New Zealand-led and controlled operation resulted in a large number of civilian casualties relative to the size of the rural hamlets involved. Our soldiers are well trained and professional, but that does not grant them infallibility -- in this case things appear to have gone badly wrong. I trust we learn from it."

Press release from Hit & Run Inquiry Campaign

Remember Fatima on 22 August: Inquiry into Afghan Deaths Now!

At 12:30pm on Tuesday 22 August, the Hit and Run Inquiry Campaign will hold a commemoration protest at the Wellington Cenotaph to remember Afghan civilians killed seven years ago during a New Zealand SAS-led raid in Baghlan Province Afghanistan. Fatima was one of those killed, at only three years of age.

“We’re holding this commemoration protest to remind the New Zealand government that justice will not be done until an independent inquiry is conducted into the events of the 22 August 2010,” says Marianne Elliott from Hit and Run Inquiry Campaign.

On 22 August 2010, after an NZ SAS-led raid on two Afghan villages looking for the insurgents responsible for the death of a New Zealand soldier, six Afghan civilians, including a three-year-old girl named Fatima, were dead. Seven years later New Zealanders are still not clear what was done in their name.

Earlier this year, the story was blown wide open by the release of Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson's book Hit & Run, which investigated the raid - Operation Burnham.

“We know New Zealanders value honesty, giving everyone a fair go and owning up to our mistakes. That’s why we’re asking our government to launch an investigation into the allegations against New Zealand Defence Forces, particularly the SAS. If we want to uphold New Zealand’s good international reputation, it is the right thing to do,” states Marianne Elliott.

Join the Hit and Run Inquiry Campaign at the Wellington Cenotaph Tuesday, 22 August 2017 at 12.30 pm to mark the seventh anniversary of Operation Burnham and to make our collective voice heard. 

Speakers on the day:

  • Nicky Hager
  • Marianne Elliott (ActionStation)
  • Barry Coates (the Green Party)
  • Peace Action Wellington

Media spokesperson: Marianne Elliott – phone: 021 110 6086

Event coordinator: Aida Tavassoli, Phone: 021 0866 9500

To know more about the Hit & Run Inquiry Campaign please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hitandruninquiry/

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

A people’s campaign for an inquiry into allegations of the NZSAS killings of civilians in Afghanistan

Hit & Run Inquiry Campaign

Concerned members of the public have banded together to call on the government for an inquiry into the allegations in Hit and Run.

News of their efforts can be found here.

August 22nd will mark seven years since Operation Burnham and the raids on Khak Kuday Dad and Naik. A commemoration service will be held at the Wellington Cenotaph at 12.30pm. 

Additional information can be found here.

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