Rainbow Warrior crew deported
French authorities have deported the crew of Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior to their countries of origin following the seizure of the ship at Moruroa atoll last week.
The ship was seized by French commandos after sailing into the 12-mile exclusion zone around Moruroa with the declared intention of setting up a peace base on the island. Crew members were taken to Papeete in Tahiti, from where they were deported.
Greenpeace activists from nine countries planned to set up the base to monitor French nuclear testing on the island and conduct an environmental survey to determine the extent of nuclear contamination. Samples had been collected from an uncontaminated atoll for comparison.
The Rainbow Warrior is being held at the lagoon on nearby Fangataufa atoll, and Greenpeace has been told an approved crew of seven will be allowed to return and collect it.
The attempt to set up the base was not a provocation, Greenpeace says. Rather, it was "an expression of outrage that France has failed to seize the historic opportunity created by the Russian moratorium to end the era of nuclear threat".