The Rainbow Warrior Incident in New Zealand 1985

[ 1985 ]

[November 4, 1985] French agents sank the Greenpeace vessel in New Zealand. The Rainbow Warrior, owned and operated by the international ecology organization Greenpeace, was sunk in Auckland harbor by explosives planted on the vessel's hull. A photographer was killed in the attack, but most of the vessel's crew was ashore at the time and escaped injury. Revelation that the sabotage had been executed by French agents sparked a furor; Rainbow Warrior had previously attempted to block French nuclear tests in the Pacific. Although others planted the charge, a New Zealand court convicted Major Alain Mafart and Captain Dominique Prieur of manslaughter, since they had directed the effort.

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