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David Robie To Launch New Book On Rainbow Warrior


Journalist On Bombed Ship Rainbow Warrior To Launch New Book

AUCKLAND (APN/Pacific Media Watch): An independent journalist who was on board the bombed Rainbow Warrior 20 years ago has written a new edition of his book, Eyes of Fire: The Last Voyage of the Rainbow Warrior.

David Robie, who sailed on board the sabotaged ship for 11 weeks before French secret agents sank it, wrote his original book shortly after the bombing. He was the only New Zealand journalist with the Greenpeace campaigners.

"The French spy drama was dramatic. But for me the real story was the plight of the Rongelap islanders and their suffering from the legacy of American nuclear tests in the 1950s," he says.

"We moved an entire island community from their ancestral atoll to safety on another islet very traumatic stuff. It left a lifelong impression on the crew and the journalists who were on board.

" My book told the story of both the campaigners and the islanders and the French terrorist conspiracy."

Dr Robie, who is associate professor in Auckland University of Technology's School of Communication Studies, won the 1985 New Zealand Media Peace Prize for his reporting of the voyage and terrorist attack.

At the time, he was reporting for the New Zealand Times, The Australian and several magazines.

His new book is being released to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing on July 10.

The fresh edition contains new sections not previously published and includes a preface written by former Greenpeace Pacific director Bunny McDiarmid.

The foreword to the original edition was written by the late Father Walter Lini, who was prime minister of Vanuatu in 1985 and a champion of an independent and nuclear-free Pacific.

The New Internationalist magazine described the book as "one of the most iniquitous stories of the nuclear age".

After the bombing, two arrested French secret agents were jailed for 10 years for their part in the plot, but were later exiled to Hao Atoll in French Polynesia for three years. They were spirited back to France to a heroes' welcome.

France paid compensation to both the New Zealand Government and Greenpeace for the sabotage.

A New Zealand-based protest fleet carried on to Moruroa Atoll and France eventually ended nuclear tests in the Pacific in 1996.

-- The book can be ordered in Australia and New Zealand from South Pacific Books Ltd: sales@southpacificbooks.co.nz
or in the Pacific from the USP Book Centre in Fiji: info@uspbookcentre.com

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE
http://www.pmw.c2o.org

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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