INTERNATIONAL GROUP PROTESTS AT DIMONA ON FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF VANUNU'S
RELEASE FROM ASHKELON PRISON
The International Campaign to Free Mordechai
On April 21, the one year anniversary of his release from Ashkelon Prison, Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu learned that Minister of the Interior, Ophir Paz-Pines, signed the document that continues the restrictions forbidding Vanunu from leaving the country for another year. The remainder of the restrictions given to him upon his release from prison last April were also renewed, with the addition of now being forbidden to speak about nuclear weapons at all, including information that has already been published. Additionally, Vanunu is now not allowed to enter the West Bank.
The same day, over 50 activists from Israel and around the world gathered at the Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev Desert, where Vanunu worked more than 20 years ago. With the Dimona reactor dome visible in the distance, the group held signs calling for worldwide nuclear abolition and complete freedom for Mordechai Vanunu. Demonstrators scattered ashes across the sand, symbolizing the destruction of a nuclear explosion.
The first speaker at the demonstration was Ryoko Noma of Hiroshima, Japan, who spoke movingly of the aftermath and suffering of the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Carmel Martin of London, England read this message from Mordechai Vanunu: "Dimona is a real holocaust. The Israelis are producing genocide weapons here. End the production of these genocide weapons. Shut Dimona."
Other speakers included Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, Kathy Kelly from Voices in the Wilderness, Chicago, U.S., Israeli poet Mati Shmuelov, Knesset member Issam Makhoul, and Israeli anti-nuclear activists Akiva Orr and Rayna Moss.
Today, April 22, the international delegation currently in Israel to call for the lifting of Vanunu's restrictions, will culminate their week's activities with a vigil at Jerusalem's Paris Square starting at 10 a.m., holding photos of Mordechai Vanunu with signs that read " We are All Mordechai Vanunu" and "Wherever We Are, Vanunu Is".