Category: Eyewitness

Nelson Mandela knew that to succeed you sometimes need to climb down from things you had previously regarded as strategic, unchangeable and unthinkable. The South African leader’s first [press conference reminded us of the need to compromise in politics.

4 November 2021 By Paul Martin

The 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release reminds us of the need to compromise in politics | The Independent | The Independent It was a balmy afternoon on Nelson Mandela’s day of liberation, February 11, 1990. I rolled down the back window and stretched out an arm to have my hand slapped again and again […]

‘I saved Yasser Arafat’s picture before I burned down his Authority’s office.’ Palestinian militant Zakaria Zubeidi has led a daring jailbreak, only to be captured again. I met him under the shadow of imminent Israeli missile attack.

12 September 2021 By Paul Martin

We sat on a balcony that overlooked the city of Jenin, soon after Zakaria Zumbeid had attacked and ransacked the office of the Governor of Jenin, his home town. The Governor was from the Palestinian Authority, which paid him and his men their salaries — though Zubeidi felt they were being underpaid and disrespected. “!Whhen […]

A mother in torment. It’s twenty years since the 9-11 attacks. The mother of an admitted Al Qaeda would-be terrorist –Zacarias Moussaoui, jailed for life in the USA — speaks of her pain and his guilt.

10 September 2021 By Paul Martin

An extraordinary interview was filmed with Aicha El Wafi at her home and in a park in Narbonne, France, before her son Zacarias Moussaoui was jailed for life. It’s still relevant today – full not only of her personal pain, but also of insights into very mixed-up minds.

I met Ratko Mladic and gave evidence at The Hague. This is how it feels to see a mass murderer finally jailed for life for his war crimes.

9 June 2021 By Paul Martin

Of all the war criminals and mass murderers I have encountered in 40 years of reporting in conflict zones, Ratko Mladic was the most chilling. The United Nations ex-Yugoslavia Tribunal’s final verdict — life imprisonment for genocide — brings back memories that even a hard-bitten war reporter finds hard to erase. ** Dead children’s graves […]

How I bought a missile in Baghdad.

8 June 2021 By Paul Martin

Here’s a story about how I found and ‘bought’ a Weapon of Minor Destruction — a missile — in the heart of Baghdad. Going fast in Iraq: the £300 rocket grenade launchers that can bring down a helicopter Paul Martin, Baghdad… which Alameen bought the RPG underlines the problems American forces face in restoring order […]

Forty years after Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s nuclear facility, there is still no Arab state with an atomic bomb. Does this prove the raid was justified?

7 June 2021 By Paul Martin

A sign on the desert road south of Baghdad, curiously in English not Arabic, pointed to what it described as an “Engineering Factory”. It was the only hint that there was something unusual to be found just off the beaten track. Until days before, this “Engineering factory” had been nothing less than Saddam Hussein’s project […]