16/08/2014 Witness


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films, including the story of arrest and education in Saddam Hussein's


Iraq. And on account of when a Greenpeace ship was bombed.


Welcome to Witness, our look back at history as told by the people who


were there. I am here at the British library in the very centre of London


to bring you our monthly look back at history. This month will take you


back to a witness in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, India under British


rule and a bomb attack against Greenpeace. At first, we are going


back 35 years to Nicaragua. In 1979, the dictator, whose family had ruled


Nicaragua for more than 50 years, was pushed out of power by rebels.


The general's family ruled Nicaragua for almost 50 years. There were many


attempts to overthrow the dynasty but in 1979 it was my generation


that was able to get rid of the last member of the family. We called in


the last Marine because that it take to ship `` dictatorship was


supported by the US all of those years. I was shocked about the


poverty when I was little and I start to think this wasn't normal.


There was something abnormal with the way things were in Nicaragua.


When I was a student, I was involved in the students movement and I was


involved in politics. I decided that it was not enough to have


demonstrations, to protest, do political work, we had to do


something more rapid `` radical. I was part of the gorilla `` guerrilla


forces. I first participates in action in 1978. We had to take over


at a station. The fighting went on for hours. Helicopters were brought


in. They were shooting us. It was very confusing, very difficult. What


I remember is that I wanted to be a lizard, so I could escape through


the bushes. At the same time, you are scared but either you have two


fight for your life, so that gives you a lot of courage. `` but you


know. I participated in this first resurrection and after that I had to


disappear. I had to go underground. For the last six months of the war,


I was working. The day Somoza fled, that was the happiest day of our


lives but we had to transmit it immediately. We had to come down and


start telling the people. We were sure it had happened but we


couldn't believe it. It was like dreaming. It was a very


contradictory feelings because there was all this destruction but there


was this sense of freedom, of liberation. We couldn't wait to


start rebuilding everything. In my case, I was appointed to the


ministry of culture. We wanted to start everything right away.


Everything I did in those years was first and foremost for the benefit


of the poor people of Nicaragua. My feeling is now are that the


revolution was betrayed. Not by all the leaders but by a small group


that took over. Nicaragua went back to the way it was, except we almost


touched heaven with our hands. It was a moment in history that will


never happen again. To one of Britain's most famous


poets of World War I. As we mark the anniversary of return joining the


great Wall, Witness went to meet the son of Robert Graves, William. ``


great war. He never really recovered, I don't


think anyone did from that war. Grade, haunted eyes. Absentmindedly


declaring from white, uneven audits. He sat down `` I sat on his knee and


he said, feel here. He had a lump above his brow, which was actually a


piece of granite. On brow drooping somewhat over the eye, because of a


missile fragment. Skin deep. A foolish record of all the world


fighting. In July, 1916, which is the date of the Battle of the song,


he takes a walk into the wood, looking for overcoat and things like


that for his men. He comes across this German, a very gory sight. Upon


came along shortly afterwards in which he describes this. To you who


read my songs of war and only hear of blood and fame, I'll say, you've


heard it said before, war is hell. If you doubt the same, today I found


a certain cure for last of blood. Where propped against the shattered


trunk in a great mess of things unclean that a dead posh. Skull and


stunk, clothes and face of sodden green. Big lead, spectacles, cropped


head of drooping black blood from those and beard. He suffered from


shell shock. He had nightmares on till `` until at least ten years


after. One of the things he found very hard to accept was this idea of


joyfulness at the end of the war. When the days of rejoicing are over,


when the flags are stowed away, they would dream of another wild war to


end wars. The boys who were killed in the trenches, who fought in a


rage and no rant, we left them stretched out in the mud. They were


down with the worm in the end. Here in Majorca, he very much that


his own life. In those terms I think it was good for him. He could really


concentrate on what he really loved doing, which was writing.


There seems no doubt that the household is above all a sunny and


cheerful place. Robert Graves has had eight children at his home has


all the marks of a place where families have been raised. ``


Greaves. Four of the children were brought up in this house by Mrs


Greaves. Pouring up the coffee, William, one of her sons. We used to


go down to the beach. He carried with him his army knapsack and water


bottle. He didn't have to talk with anyone else. He had very few people


he could relate to hear. He was always working. Towards the end of


his life, the war started coming back to him. I have very strong


mental pictures, but I don't dream. I can see the whole thing as


brutally as this room. It gave you a measure of awfulness. Beyond which


you couldn't... Beyond which any awful thing happens in your later


life, a part from love affairs. When he was in a wheelchair, we would


wheel him... There would be a big noise or something and he would


always jump if something was going on. He would almost point a gun at


you. It was a very strange and to his life. But at the very end, he


was sitting in a chair and that was it. `` I was sitting. He died very


peacefully. William Graves at his father's house. In 1985 the


Greenpeace campaign ship rainbow Warrior was bombed by French secret


agents. Witness tracked down Pete Wilcox,


its captain. I like going to see and do


definitely like the component of activism. I think it makes for a


more fulfilled, useful, involved life. That's why I've been working


for environmental groups for 40 years. Rainbow Warrior was a trawler


bought by Greenpeace in 78, used for different campaigns all over the


world. I literally knew every nut and bolt on the boat. There where I


think 12 of us. We came from countries all over the world. We


were berthed in Auckland Harbour pry into leaving about two weeks later


for French Polynesia, where we intended to confront French


authorities over their nuclear testing programme.


I went to bed about 1115, 1130. I read for a little while, went to


sleep they woke up when the boat shuddered. Initially I thought we


were involved with a collision at sea. I got up, walked down to the


engine room door grey met the chief engineer. He was muttering to


himself, it's over, she is finished, done for. In 30 seconds it took me


to walk down the hall, the boat has for all intensive set `` for all


intensive purposes sunk. The first bomb blew a hole about six x six


feet in the side. Like you punched about through a paper bag. ``


punched your hand. I went down the stairs and saw the chief mate, who


was getting people up and out of there. That's when the second bomb


went off and the boat violently shook under my feet. I said, is


everyone up? He replied, yes. I said, OK, abandon ship. We have to


get out of here. The bombs going off around us and obviously the boat had


been crippled in some sort of major way and I thought it was time get


out. Fernando had been in the mess with another two people. The bomb


went off and he went to his cabin for his cameras, most likely. He


couldn't get out. He was trapped in his cabin by the second bomb. The


police dive team was unable to get through the diesel fuel and by the


time the navy arrived it had dissipated enough, so they could go


down and find him. That's when I identified him. I went back to tell


the crew that he was dead. In the South Pacific the search is on for a


group of people described by the Prime Minister of New Zealand as


ruthless, Catholic and kill us. Initially the police suspected us


but when they found the bombs had the `` in planted outside the


whole, they relaxed towards us. One of the things that surprised all of


us was that here was a first world superpower and a bunch of hippies on


an old British trawler had scared them so badly that they were quite


happy to murder us. France thought they could operate with impunity in


New Zealand and nobody would be smart enough to notice them. About


three days later or two days later, we learned the French agents had


been essentially caught red`handed. It is the worst feeling you can have


as a captain, a shipmate, as anybody. One thing I'm still angry


about is that today the French Government has never apologised for


the murder of him, either to his family, or to Greenpeace. I think


it's high time something like that happened. Pete Wilcox, who is still


sailing and campaigning for Greenpeace. Remember, you can watch


Witness every months here on BBC News Channel `` month here on BBC


News Channel or catch up on over 1,000 radio programmes. Just go to


the link below. 25 years ago the Observer journalist was arrested in


Baghdad, and accused of spying for Britain. He had a friend who was a


nurse. I work as a journalist for the Observer Newspaper and live in


London. I secretly went to one of the important military


establishments with a British person. I should have known better.


I had lived in Iraq for quite some time. I should have known what a


dangerous place it was. He said he was supposed to go to the site of an


explosion in Hillah. I had a couple of days off and offered to take him


to the site. He jumped out of the car and on the side of the road was


a heap of just ordinary soil. He scooped up a couple of samples of


this and he put them in the glove comapartment and we drove off. He


thought he had found some sort of chemical warfare. As far as I was


concerned we weren't doing anything wrong. He was pleased and he thought


he had a story. The day of my arrest someone came to me to say I was


wanted in the admin office. So I went along and the administrator was


there and he was with two men he said were from the Ministry of


Information. They wanted to know why we went to Hillah, what we did


there? I gave them the same story all the way through and they weren't


satisfied. Then I was really quite scared. I was being accuse of


espionage. He confessed by video for working for Mossad, the Israeli


intelligence. Despite this freely given confession on Iraqi


television, many people in the West are certain it was made under


duress. A revolutionary court in Iraq has sentenced to death a


journalist working for the Observer Newspaper. Bazof, it was accused of


spying and a `` Bazoft was accused of spying and a British nurse


accused of helping him was sentsanced to 15 years in prison. He


went very white when the verdict was given. I went into shock. We were


separated then and I was taken to the women's prison. I was called by


the guards. They said he was executed this morning and they said,


"I'm sorry." There's renewed pressure to help the British nurse


jailed for 15 years for helping Bazoft. There hours dragged by.


There was nothing to do or see. I felt very, very alone and scared.


The British nurse who was jailed for 15 years in Iraq on spying charges


has been freed. After four months, they said I'm being released. But


they had told me so many lies that I didn't really believe it. She said


it was marvellous to be back with her family. She was feeling


tremendous. I feel responsible for the fact that it all happened. But I


can't feel responsibility for the atrocity of hanging him. To cut off


someone's life so deliberately and unnecessarily seems to me


unbelievably cruel. Now back home in England. Now for our final film this


month. Witness travelled to rural India to speak to Ann Wright. Her


father was a British civil servant in the final days of the empire and


takes us down memory lane to a very different India of 80 years ago. We


had a wonderful childhood. I grew up in very beautiful and wild places.


My father was in the Indian Civil Service. That was before


independence. One of the smallest countries on the map is responsible


for the mightiest Commonwealth of nations in history. Now the great


cavalcade of empire makes a grand spectacle. The first place I came to


when I was one was the jungles of central India. He was posted in the


wildest place possible, because he was very junior. We came with a


nanny. And the nanny left because she said the people are peeping at


us through the holes in the tent. My father said, "No`one was going to


peep at us." Anyway, she left. Another wonderful nanny came and she


stayed. An English nanny. We collected scorpions, centipedes and


spiders, putting them under pillows and that sort of thing. We were


cleverly spoilt. Our whole life revolved around ponies and dogs and


an elephant. There were three elephants. When they put their


trunks down, you climbed onto the truck. Put the trunk up and hop up


onto the back. This is elephant orders. Stop is


Dhatt. This is very old. I don't know if they've improved or changed


it. We had a wonderful old bear who met my father when he arrived from


England. Stayed with him forever. He was hugely fat and had medals all


over because he was in the army and they used to dangle in the soup. We


were brought up by our staff, really. We loved them. It wasn't


much fun to go back to school in Somerset, I can tell you. After


rampaging around the countryside, we suddenly found ourselves in England


in the pouring rain and the freezing cold, awful place. I missed


everything about India. I missed the climate, I missed my friends, I


missed the staff, I missed the villages, our riding elephants, and


our dogs and to be confined in the very cold and remote place in


Somerset, in a very huge cold house. It was no fun. As soon as I could I


wanted to come back to India. A big question mark has been written


across the face of India. The fair`minded people here and in India


will see to it she has her rightful place in the sun. There was an


anti`British movement in the war, 1942. We were sents up for the


summer, to the his. We saw never anything. We just lived in the


paradise. The British really couldn't cope. How could they? There


was so few. My father particularly was aware that independence was on


its way and he was very anxious that it came. You can't impose yourself


on a whole nation for so long. It has to go back to the people,


doesn't it? Independence Day is a day of rejuicing. Crowds filled the


streets. Police were called out many times to restore order where


everyone ran wild with joy. I think whenever you grow up as a child ``


wherever ugrow up as a child you're more at home. At home with the


climate, the food, the people, everything. I had to get people to


help me to get it. I had the best of both worlds. It was OK by me. Anne


Wright in her Indian country garden. That's all from Witness for this


month. Next month we'll bring you five more witnesses. History told


through the eyes of people who were there. But for now, from me and from


the rest of the team at Witness, thanks for watching. Goodbye.


A considerable drop in temperature is expected by the end of the


weekend, purely because of the wind direction. The winds are something


the Met Office is warning about this weekend. Gales in the north and west


is quite unusual at this time of year. With low pressure we expect


rain but some bright spells. Let me try to pick out detail for you. The




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