French Polynesia’s Protestant church has decided to take France to the International Criminal Court over the legacy of the French nuclear weapons tests.
The decision was announced at the conclusion of the Maohi Protestant Church Synod in Tahiti.
Its secretary general Celine Hoiore said the case will be filed in The Hague for alleged crimes against humanity as a result of 193 nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific.
The action is being taken for all the consequences of the tests, including contempt for the illnesses Polynesians suffer from as a result of the tests she said.
Oscar Temaru, a pro-independence opposition politician, has welcomed the church decision as historic.
In 2010, France passed a law to compensate victims but the law’s scope has been too narrow to allow more than just a handful of people to get recognition and there have been calls to review the law.
Tests not a crime against humanity
The French High Commissioner to French Polynesia said the nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific do not amount to a crime against humanity.
Rene Bidal said the definition of a crime against humanity centres on the Nuremburg trials after the Second World War and refers to killings, exterminations, and deportations.
He said the church should weigh its words, adding that a complaint as outlined by the church would be baseless.
Read more at Tahiti Protestants take France to court