Mordechai: 'I Want to Be Free'

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from a letter to Sam Day mailed from Ashkelon Prison September 2, 1999, and received in December.

by Mordechai Vanunu

I, like every human being, want to be free. No one will prefer to stay in prison for any reason. I am writing it clearly for you and others that from my first day all my task was and remains to get out of prison in Israel, even to leave Israel, [but] no one has given me the opportunity to leave the prison….

Is it good for me to stay in prison to raise the issue of Israel's nuclear weapons? I do not agree to accept such a sacrifice. My mission - self-appointed - was to bring to all the world, including simple, innocent citizens, all of Israel's nuclear weapons secrets. And I succeeded very well in doing it.

Now I am fighting for my right to be free, to be released from inhumane conditions, not to accept or obey any Israeli spy demands. I have no connection with them; I am not accepting any commands or orders from them. If they want to release me on condition that I obey orders I will stay here in prison as long as I can. I will not neglect or abandon my rights of freedom of speech and freedom of movement.

I have never had any doubts and don't need any recommendations from others, as I did in my first act…. To be in prison is [worthwhile] only if it results from some act against nuclear weapons. Otherwise, we should leave-not to be one day [more] in prison.

My principles are clear against nuclear weapons. But I don't need to be in prison [to prove it]….

I went to London not intending to be imprisoned. But I was kidnapped. Now I am still in prison because they say I still have secrets and and I am declaring openly that I am going to speak with anyone about all subjects. The principle of free speech is about human rights and democracy.