Renewed French Polynesian push against France over nuclear testing

6:36 pm on 1 July 2017

There is another push in French Polynesia to pursue France for alleged crimes against humanity over its nuclear weapons testing.

The pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira Party of Oscar Temaru has launched a petition to that effect which it plans to submit to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

This comes after French Polynesia's Protestant church last year announced it would take France to the International Criminal Court over the legacy of the weapons tests.

A Tavini politician Richard Tuheiava says his party's stance has been encouraged by President Emmanuel Macron who used a pre-election visit to Algeria this year to declare that colonialism was a crime against humanity.

He says it constitutes a crime to carry out an inhuman act that intentionally causes great suffering.

From 1960 to 1966, France carried out 17 nuclear weapons tests in Algeria before shifting the testing regime to the South Pacific where it carried out a further 193 tests over 30 years.

Until 2010, France claimed its tests were clean and caused no ill health.

The testing sites of Mururoa and Fangataufa remain no-go zones which France has excised from French Polynesia.