Vanunu Selected for 2002 Nuclear-Free Future Award

The recipients of the 2002 Nuclear-Free Future Awards have been selected. The three annual Awards, this year endowed with a money prize of ¤ 5000 each, cover the areas of Resistance, Education, and Solutions. The Awards Ceremony will be held on October 5 in St. Petersburg, Russia. This year the NFFA international jury, which is made up of peace philosopher Johann Galtung, Hollywood actor Val Kilmer, human rights activist Angela Davis, German MP Monika Griefahn, writers Kirkpatrick Sale, Till Bastian, Vanamali Gunturu, and Peter Stephan Jungk, physicist Alfred Körblein, Cornell University historian Robert Venables, arctic explorer Ann Bancroft, peace-activist Sue Dürr, journalist Karl Grossman, peace-activist John Otronto, environmentalist Christine von Weizsäcker, and the managing director of IPPNW-Germany, Frank Uhe, has decided that the Awards will go to the following individuals:

Resistance: Mordecai Vanunu from Israel

Mordecai Vanunu receives the Nuclear-Free Future Resistance Award for his selfless and courageous act of ethical obedience to a power higher than state by blowing the whistle on the secret Israeli nuclear weapons program.

While working as a technician at Israel's Dimona from 1976 to 1985, Mordecai Vanunu learned of his country's covert production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. Vanunu believed it was his responsibility to inform the citizens of Israel as well as the rest of the world that nuclear weapons are being built and stockpiled in his land, especially in the light of Middle East tensions. On October 5, 1986, the London Sunday Times, headlined, "Revealed: The Secrets of Israel's Nuclear Arsenal," based on interviews with Vanunu. However, Vanunu never saw the paper because five days prior to the release of the story he was lured to Rome and kidnapped there by Israeli secret agents. Vanunu was brought back to Israel where he was secretly tried and convicted of treason and espionage. The first eleven years of his incarceration he spent in solitary confinement. Vanunu, the recipient of the 1987 Right Livelihood Award, is still in prison.

Education: Ole Kopreitan from Norway

Ole Kopreitan, the grand old man of Norway's peace and anti-nuke movements, receives the Nuclear-Free Future Education Award for his decades of tireless, informed activism, be it in the streets of Oslo or in the international arena.

Ole Kopreitan has worked against nuclear power and nuclear arms for over forty years, seeking to offset the disinformation fed to the public by the international military-civilian nuclear complex. Perhaps the greatest achievement of his "on-going political clarification" (as he calls it), came in 1975 when the Norwegian parliament, largely due to Kopreitan's grassroots pressuring, decided that Norway's energy mix would remain nuclear-free. Since 1980, Ole Kopreitan has been the moving spirit behind an organization called "No to Nuclear Arms," an organization that organizes discussions in high schools, holds annual lyceums at the Nobel Institute, and lobbies to underscore among government policy makers the Norwegian public's strong anti-nuclear sentiment.

Solutions: Helen Clark from New Zealand

Helen Clark receives the Nuclear-Free Future Solutions Award for her groundbreaking contributions as a political visionary pressing to ensure the liveability of earth for the coming generations by creating a world free of nuclear weapons.

Between 1984 and 1987, Helen Clark was chair of the foreign affairs and defense select committee, and the principle architect of New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy at a time when the country declared itself nuclear free and generally pursued a more independent stance in its foreign policy. Since winning the November 27, 1999 general election, Prime Minister Helen Clark, proud of New Zealand's "record in the vanguard of the nuclear disarmament movement," has pledged that her government will continue to forge strong alliances with other non-nuclear states in order to create a world free of nuclear weapons. Ms. Clark is the third politician to receive a Nuclear-Free Future Award, after Stewart Udall, former US-Secretary of Interior (1999), and MP Hans-Joseph Fell of Germany (2001).

The two honorary Nuclear-Free Future Awards, which are endowed with works of art, will this year go to:

Lifetime Achievement: Aleksei Yablokov, Russia / Fran Macy, U.S.A.

Aleksei Yablokov, a former environmental adviser to both Mikhail Gorbachov and Boris Yeltsin, is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and president of the non-governmental Russian Center for Ecology Policy. The American Fran Macy, co-founder of the Institute for Deep Ecology, is the director of the Center for Safe Energy. Through exchanges, press conferences, and workshops facilitated by these two men, a solid transatlantic bridge could be built between the Russian and American ecology and peace-movements. Their names stand for decades of inspired environmental and anti-nuke grassroots involvement.

Special Recognition: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, U.S.A.

Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this unique magazine, founded by former Manhattan Project scientists, has been the world's most reliable source of news and information about global security and the nuclear threat. The Bulletin's icon became the Doomsday Clock as it ticks towards midnight, which first appeared on the cover of the June 1947 issue. In February of this year, owing to the U.S. administration's decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty, the crisis between India and Pakistan, the increased peril of nuclear terrorism, and the U.S. administration's threats of using pre-emptive force over diplomacy to halt nuclear proliferation, the minute hand was moved from nine to seven minutes to midnight, the same setting at which the clock debuted 55 years ago. This marks the third time the minute hand has been moved forward since the end of the Cold War in 1991.

The Nuclear-Free Future Award is a project that carries on the spirit of the historic 1992 World Uranium Hearing in Salzburg, Austria. The Nuclear-Free Future Award, an affiliate of the "Seventh Generation Fund", an indigenous initiative in California, U.S.A, is a project of the German "Franz-Moll-Foundation for Future Generations". Founder and director of the Nuclear-Free Future Award is Claus Biegert, a Munich-based writer, journalist and filmmaker.

The Awards Ceremony travels the world: after Salzburg, Austria (1998), Los Alamos, New Mexico (1999), Berlin, Germany (2000), and Carnsore Point, Ireland (2001), this year the ceremony, hosted by the Russian environmental organizations "Green World" and "Coalition Clean Baltic", will be held in St. Petersburg, Russia, on October 5th.

The Nuclear-Free Future Award
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