International Outrage Over Israel's Further Punishment of nuclear whistleblower
The U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu
(in the US) 520-323-8697
The Israeli Committee for Mordechai Vanunu and for a Middle East Free of
Atomic, Biological and Chemical Weapons - Tel. +972-02-6254530, +972-051-368236
The State of Israel has
detailed its intention to continue punishing nuclear whistleblower Mordechai
Vanunu even after he completes his 18-year prison sentence
next Wednesday, April 21. The proposed restrictions, akin to South Africa's "banning" of
apartheid's opponents, have sparked outrage world wide among advocates for
human rights and nuclear disarmament. According to law, the restrictions are
being appealed to the High Court. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel
is representing Dr. Vanunu in these proceedings.
Officials who recently visited Ashkelon Prison informed Dr. Vanunu that he
faces at least a year of additional restrictions. The restrictions would keep
Vanunu in Israel and require advance notice if he wishes to leave the town
of his residence. He would be prohibited from approaching any borders or embassies,
and barred from possessing a cell phone, using the internet, or having any
communication with foreigners at all, even those residing in Israel.
Here is a sampling of international condemnations:
Mary Eoloff [Minnesota, USA] adoptive mother of Mordechai Vanunu:
This is a destructive decision for Mordechai. The terrible thing is, that the
State is denying basic human rights to a person who has already completed his
sentence. They are assuming in advance, that he will use his freedom of speech
to speak out against Israel. He has the right of expression just like any citizen,
and that cannot be taken away from him." [Yediot Ahronot -15 April 2004]
The Israeli Committee for Mordechai Vanunu and for a Middle East Free of Atomic,
Biological and Chemical Weapons:
" The restrictions and prohibitions which the Sharon-Lapid government intends
to impose characterize tyrannical regimes, and it is not surprising that the
order was signed by the Homeland Defense Commander, based on the draconian
State of Emergency Regulations, the legacy of the British Mandate. We wish
to remind the public, that former Prime Minister Menachem Begin and two former
Justice Ministers, Yakov Shimshon Shapira and Dov Yosef, denounced the regulations
as being Nazi in nature."
Issam Makhoul, Israeli-Arab Member of the Knesset:
" When Mordechai Vanunu is released from that terrible cell in Ashkelon
Prison, he will not leave behind a void; he will leave behind a shout, which
become the call for the emergence of an Israeli anti-nuclear movement."
Alyn Ware [New Zealand], Vice-President of International Peace Bureau and
global coordinator of the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament:
" The situation in the Middle East is very tense at the moment and the safety
of well-known peace advocates is of concern. One of the parliamentary network
members from Israel, Mr Issam Makhoul, who has spoken out on nuclear weapons
issues in the Israeli parliament, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt
recently, an action which prevented him from attending an international conference
we were organizing on the issue. Given the tense situation, the presence of
extremists willing to direct violence against individuals, and the fact that
some reports in Israeli media have labelled Vanunu a traitor to the country,
we would be concerned if he is prevented from leaving Israel, if that were
to be his choice. It is in fact a fundamental and universal human right to
be allowed to leave and return to one's country."
Felice Cohen-Joppa [Arizona, USA], Coordinator of the U.S. Campaign to Free
" With these restrictions, the Israeli government is building a special
prison just for Mordechai Vanunu. This is an outrageous injustice not fitting
a democratic nation."
The international campaigns to free Mordechai Vanunu together denounce and
protest the continued harassment of Dr. Mordechai Vanunu by the Israeli authorities
and call on all people of conscience, in Israel and around the world, to join
the struggle to lift all of these restrictions. The soon-to-be released Prisoner
of Conscience deserves to live as a free person wherever he chooses.
More condemnations are expected as news of the additional punishment circulates.