Australian news, and some related international items

European Court of Human Rights – the next step in UK nuclear veterans’ fight for justice

Right to the top: Britain’s nuclear test veterans take battle for justice to Europe
Victims of Britain’s ­nuclear tests are to take their fight for justice to the European Court of Human Rights.

More than 1,000 veterans of the atomic bomb tests carried out in the South Pacific in the 1950s are to ask judges in Strasbourg to rule on their ­demand for a trial accusing the Ministry of Defence of exposing them to radiation.

The veterans and their families claim they have since ­suffered from a catalogue of rare medical conditions, as well as miscarriages and birth defects, but courts here have banned hearings into most of their cases.

But now, as Prime Minister David Cameron comes under repeated fire for ignoring the terms of the Military Covenant which pledges to look after our servicemen, the vets are asking Europe to intervene.

Widow Shirley Denson, whose RAF ace husband Eric was ­ordered to fly a
“sniffer” plane through mushroom clouds at Christmas Island in 1958,
said it was “brilliant news”.

She said: “We have tried for 30 years to be heard, and every time the
MoD has denied there is anything wrong with us. Now we have vital
scientific evidence, and they say we have left it too late.

“This is one of our final ­chances to appeal for the right to present our case.”

More than 20,000 men, many of them on National Service, were ordered
to witness ­repeated bomb tests in the South Pacific as ­British
scientiststried to build atomic and hydrogen bombs.

Many later developed cancer, and their children have been shown to
have six times the normal rate of leukaemia and 10 times the normal
rate of birth defects. A succession of governments, both Tory and
Labour, have tried denied there was anything wrong with them.

The European court has to decide on whether to hear the veterans’
claim within six months, and it is hoped that because they are all
elderly the case will be heard rapidly.

June 21, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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