26 Jun 2013

Hopes that book will provoke discussion Marshalls' nuclear legacy

3:05 pm on 26 June 2013

The author of a new book on a Marshall Islands woman who campaigned tirelessly for justice for those exposed to radiation in her country is hoping the publication will get people talking about the nuclear test situation there.

Darlene Keju was one of thousands of Marshallese exposed to deadly radioactive fallout from United States nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s.

But it was not until she learned English at university in Hawaii that she discovered how many of the islands were affected and decided to be a voice for the test survivors.

Giff Johnson was married to Darlene until her death in 1996 at the age of 45 and in his book, Don't Ever Whisper, compares the treatment of mainland US citizens exposed to test radiation with that of the Marshallese.

"I hope the book will get people to talk about the nuclear test situation in the Marshall Islands because although the US government says, 'Look, we've done it, we gave full and final compensation', the fairness of the situation is clearly not there."

Giff Johnson.