Thriller exploring the weapons trade through the story of two old friends who share a disturbing secret.
Monica and Samira used to be frontline foreign correspondents in Iraq but now inhabit very different worlds. Monica works in London as head of corporate communications for a large UK aerospace and weapons business, while the Anglo-Lebanese Samira runs a Beirut-based human rights NGO investigating deaths of civilians in Yemen and elsewhere.
When Samira presents Monica with harrowing video evidence that British ordnance has been responsible for the deaths of children, Monica is ordered by her boss to keep the story under wraps at all costs. Their firm is going through a complex takeover deal and must avoid bad publicity. Yes, weapons sometimes fall into the wrong hands, but that doesn’t mean all arms manufacturers – or all governments – are evil. Besides, Samira’s video evidence may have been manipulated. Propaganda is rife on all sides.
It’s up to Monica to make a choice. This is her chance to atone for the guilt-laden decision she made back in Iraq by going public with Samira’s claims. Or will she put her career and the "national interest" first by staying silent and embracing the unforgiving logic of realpolitik?
This month, the UN Human Rights Council has warned the UK, US, France and Iran that they may be complicit in war crimes in Yemen over their support for parties to the four-year conflict, which has claimed the lives of at least 7,290 civilians and left 80% of the population in need of humanitarian assistance or protection. Responsibility lies not just with governments but with the firms that supply armaments. Their conduct – and their ethics – are coming increasingly under the microscope. Writer Hugh Costello takes that as his starting point for a pacey and suspenseful fictional drama.
Written by Hugh Costello
Two old friends share a disturbing secret in a thriller exploring the weapons trade.
Drama from BBC Radio 4
Radio 4 drama.