• Short Summary

    Britain's Prime Minister, Mr. Edward Heath, called for a report on Wednesday (11 July) from?

  • Description

    GV & CU Chatham House (2 shots)

    GV Father Hastings

    SCU Adrian Hastings interviewed

    GV Demonstrators outside Embassy

    SCU Portuguese Government spokesman speaks

    REPORTER: "Father, why do you think there is so much doubt about this report to an extent that you are virtually in the dock as there is not the same amount of doubt about reports from Burundi or My Lai?"

    HASTINGS: "I don't have any doubt about it, and many people I'm sure have not...some don't want to believe it. I would think that if there was no evidence from any other event of a similar kind happening in Portuguese Africa, I would find it very difficult to believe. In fact we have very good evidence from other comparable incidents. As a matter of fact, we have...I have only just been speaking to someone who has independent evidence from January of this particular massacre."

    DAMOTTA: "We consider that this report is absolutely baseless, and not only is it very weak in many points of the report, they didn't say anything about which soldiers they were, or which units. That would be easy to identify without someone that has gone into the details they have gone into. And they say names that could have been compiled by anybody saying John, Mary. They put ages of people there which is a known thing that most Africans in villages wouldn't know their ages exactly. They would say something about ten or more than twenty, and for us, it's clearly part....it's the climax of a campaign to disrupt the visit of our Prime Minister."

    Initials BB/0150 TS/AH/BB/0157

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Britain's Prime Minister, Mr. Edward Heath, called for a report on Wednesday (11 July) from Britain's consul-General in Lawrence Marques about the allegations by a Roman Catholic priest of the massacre of Wiriyamu, an unmapped village in the east African territory of Mozambique.

    The priest is 44-year-old Father Adrian Hastings of the College of Ascension in Birmingham (UK). He claims he has detailed evidence of the slaughter last December by Portuguese troops of several hundred people, and at a news conference in London on Wednesday, he defended his report.

    But the Portuguese Embassy in London claimed on Wednesday that the report was not right...that it was a campaign to disrupt the visit to Britain of Portugal's Prime Minister Dr. Marcello Caetano.

    Already, plans are in hand for a series of protests and demonstrations during and before the four-day visit of the Prime Minister. On Sunday (15 July), the eve of the Prime Minister's visit, a mass rally and march is being organised by the Committee for Freedom in Mozambique.

    In an interview at the Portuguese Embassy in London, Second Secretary Carlos Damotta said the report was without foundation.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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