Prisoner Says No To Asking for Pardon

Mordechai Vanunu has no regrets about having blown the whistle on Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program, and he has no intention of asking for clemency or a pardon.

That was the report of Israeli Knesset Member Yossi Katz, who is sympathetic to the prisoner’s early release, after a 45-minute visit with Vanunu at Ashkelon Prison on February 27.

Katz told reporters that Vanunu wants early release from his 18-year prison term but remains defiant after more than 13 years behind bars. He said Vanunu described his continuing incarceration as inhumane and unbecoming a country claiming to be a democracy.

Katz said Israel would be better off releasing Vanunu early rather than face mounting criticism in Israel and abroad over the continued incarceration of a man widely regarded as a prisoner of conscience. Other highlights of his report:

- Vanunu is the only prisoner not required to work. He is free to roam the prison compound but allowed no access to other “security” prisoners, most of whom are Palestinian.

- Vanunu receives some 2,000 letters a month and spends most of his time answering a small portion of them.

- Vanunu hopes to leave Israel on the day of his release but expects that Israeli agents will continue to keep an eye on him.

- Vanunu says he has no nuclear secrets to reveal.