Worldwide Vigils for Vanunu - New Delhi

Today (Sept. 25) around 50 people came for a three hour vigil from 12 noon to 3.00 pm in front of the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi in solidarity with Mordechai Vanunu. Though there is a police restriction on any meetings of more than 5 people (Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code) we deliberately defied it to make our peaceful and totally non-violent protest.

A truckload of police immediately came around but decided that discretion would be more appropriate and did not disturb our vigil as long as we kept on the other side of the road from the Embassy.

We read out messages of solidarity to Vanunu from people throughout the world, read out aloud some of his poems and recited a brief history of his life and the circumstances in which he was arrested and jailed.

There was a guitar and harmonium and we sang numerous peace songs in English, Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali. Some press photographers came to take pictures.

Before dispersing at 3 pm, we stood up in brief silent tribute. Some of us then pinned signs on our chests calling for the release of Vanunu, and the memorandum that was to be submitted to the Israeli Ambassador was read out aloud. The Israeli Embassy refused to accept this memorandum to the Ambassador so we have arranged for it to be sent by courier mail and by fax to the Embassy. Copies of this memorandum have also been released to the Indian press.

The text of this memorandum is given below:

The Embassy of Israel
3, Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi

Dear Mr. Ambassador,

Today, a vigil is taking place in front of Israeli Embassies throughout the world. We in India are proud to be a part of this international vigil whose purpose is to call attention to the plight of Mordechai Vanunu, whom your government 14 years ago illegally kidnapped and unjustifiably sentenced and imprisoned for 18 years.

By exposing your government's secret nuclear weapons programme, Vanunu declared his wider commitment to the welfare of an international community beyond the claims of so-called loyalty to a government that would deceive its own people and the world, as well as violate all principles of justice and decency by building such weapons of mass destruction.

To many, many millions Mordechai Vanunu is a global hero and an inspiration to all who oppose nuclear weapons. He is certainly that and more to us in India who also reject India's acquisition of nuclear weapons and demand that it roll back completely its own weapons programme. In the wider court of history it is your government that will be adjudged the true criminal while Vanunu's stature as one of the more remarkable and courageous figures of our times will only be further reinforced.

Over all these years, as well as today, we stand in complete solidarity with Mordechai Vanunu. We demand that your government immediately release him! We demand the elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide no matter which country possesses them!

Yours Etc.

Achin Vanaik
On Behalf of the Movement in India for Nuclear Disarmament in India (MIND).
Member of the National Coordinating Committee of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), India.