University of Iowa

Tagged with "New Zealand"

1/23/2013

UI visiting professor, former U.S. ambassador reflects on time away

Ron McMullen held a phone to his ear in May 2000. The unfolding situation seemed like a plot from a Hollywood film starring the latest actions stars, but it wasn’t. On the other line was the voice of the spokesman for George Speight, who listened to McMullen’s demands. Speight and his followers had stormed the Fijian Parliament in May and held Prime Minster Mahendra Chaudhry and most of his Cabinet hostage for 56 days, according to Radio New Zealand.In the midst of the conflict, an American journalist who had attempted to interview Speight was taken hostage. McMullen, now a University of Iowa visiting associate professor of political science, was set on having the journalist freed.