Vanunu: In good spirits, awaiting court hearing

May 15, 2002

Mary and Nick Eoloff, adoptive parents of imprisoned nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, had two visits with Mordechai on May 12 and 14, at Shikma Prison in Ashkelon, Israel. At both visits, Vanunu treated his adoptive parents to cookies and cold drinks, which he purchased at the prison store.

The Eoloffs reported, after their first visit, that Mordechai was in good spirits, his health was good, and he was eagerly awaiting a court hearing on May 13, on three petitions that he had served. Mordechai is demanding that the Court permit him to receive the full transcripts of his own trial in 1986; to meet with his British lawyers; and prohibit the publication of a chapter in a forthcoming book by Israeli writers Eitan Haber and Yossi Melman, that addresses his case (Vanunu is arguing, that the authors had access to material from his trial, which he is prohibited from seeing). Further hearings are pending. The media was not allowed to see or speak with Vanunu at the District Court in Jerusalem, but a Court spokesperson photographed him and the photos appeared in all major Israeli newspapers and on television news on May 14. Vanunu appeared to be fit and tanned; his hair is now white.

The Court appearance and the vigorous arguments that were put forth by his attorney, Avigdor Feldman, greatly encouraged Vanunu, who was energized and happy when he saw his adoptive parents again, on May 14. In the course of this second visit, Mordechai described to the Eoloffs his daily schedule, which includes exercise, reading, listening to the radio and napping. He eats his meals in his cell, by choice, but he can walk in the common yard, which he does daily. He enjoys video films that are sent to him.

Vanunu also reported, that a clock-radio that had been sent to him by British campaigners, had been confiscated by the prison administration, on the grounds that he is not permitted to have an alarm clock. His outgoing and incoming mail is still being held up, but he asks that supporters continue to write to him.

-Rayna Moss