6 Jul 2020

Protest marks Moruroa anniversary

5:28 am on 6 July 2020

A sit-in has been held outside the French High Commission in French Polynesia to commemorate the 54th anniversary of the first nuclear weapons test at Moruroa.

Picture taken in 1971, showing a nuclear explosion in Mururoa atoll.

Picture taken in 1971, showing a nuclear explosion in Mururoa atoll. Photo: AFP

The demonstration was organised by the anti-nuclear group Association 193 which again decried the recent law change tightening compensation criteria for those suffering ill-health.

The group said most compensation claims for radiation induced diseases kept being rejected.

The largest denomination, the Maohi Protestant Church, as well as the Moruroa e tatou veterans group held a conference on the tests' aftermath, discussing action against the French state.

They argued that victims should seek redress through international courts, with a case pending in the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

It was lodged in 2018 by the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira party which accused France's living presidents of crimes against humanity for exposing French Polynesia to nuclear fallout.

Until ten years ago, France said its tests were clean and caused no harm.

The last test was carried out in 1996.

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