Letter to Ariel Sharon from the International Delegation in Israel
Dear Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,
We, delegates from several countries gathered in Jerusalem for the anniversary of Mordechai Vanunu's release, express our concern, disappointment, shock and disbelief at the recent decision to renew the sanctions on Mordechai Vanunu for another 12 months. To us, Mordechai Vanunu is a hero of world peace and a voice of sanity and truth in a world increasingly threatened by the insanity of nuclear weapons.
Your courts found him guilty of espionage and treason and sentenced him to 18 years in prison. The crime for which he was sentenced was revealing the secrets of Israel's nuclear arsenal - although 19 years later you officially tell the world that Israel has no nuclear arsenal at all. Mordechai Vanunu served his cruel sentence in Israeli prisons and last year, on the 21st of April, we were present at Ashkelon for his release.
We pass over his unlawful kidnapping in Rome and his unlawful return to Israel, shackled and drugged. We pass over his secret trial and conviction and the long period of solitary confinement you imposed on him, which shocked the world and created a new unflattering record for this type of inhumane and barbaric treatment of a human being.
These are all in the past and while they remain as stubborn facts that can never be erased we are concerned now only with the present.
Since his release last April, Mordechai Vanunu has been forbidden to enjoy two of the most basic rights of human beings: freedom of speech and freedom to travel. He has now received a new order not to talk about the subject of Dimona or nuclear weapons even if what he says has already been published. The spurious and specious argument has been made within Israel that "he has more secrets to tell." Outside of Israel, few believe this argument. Even within Israel, many Israelis do not believe it. All the information that he has was published 19 years ago in the Sunday Times. Nuclear technology has moved on. It is clear that the restrictions placed on Mordechai Vanunu must not be for reasons of Israeli security but for reasons of revenge, anger or even malice.
Mordechai Vanunu, who today was inaugurated as Rector of Glasgow University and has received innumerable other honors from around the world, has said NO to these unjust and cruel sanctions. Outside and inside of Israel, most fair-minded people agree with him. It will not redound to the benefit of Israel if your government continues to play with the life, feelings and dignity of this human being.
We have resolved that while he is forbidden to speak, we will speak out openly and often on his behalf in our different countries around the world. While he is forbidden to travel, your country's reputation with regard to human rights will continue to decline. We do not wish this on your country. We join with other organizations, groups and individuals around the world in asking you with all the vehemence and power we can muster to do the big thing, the noble thing and the right thing and let Mordechai Vanunu go.
Somewhere it as been said, a prophet is honored everywhere but in his own country. Mordechai Vanunu has tried to save the children of Israel from a nuclear disaster. Do not dishonor him. Give him his passport and let Mordechai Vanunu go.
Best personal wishes,