Anger at restrictions on Vanunu
Protests were lodged yesterday against the restrictions that are to be imposed on the Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, who is due to be released from prison next week.
Vanunu, who will have served 18 years for revealing details of Israel's nuclear arsenal, is to be forbidden to have contact with foreigners either in person or by correspondence. He will not be allowed to leave Israel or move from his home town without reporting to police.
" This is ludicrous and in breach of international law," said the Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, who is to travel to Israel next week as one of around 90 supporters who plan to welcome Vanunu on his release from Shekma prison in Ashkelon.
Mr Corbyn said at a press conference in London that one of the reasons for going to Israel was to demonstrate the international concern about Vanunu. Around 40 British supporters, 30 Americans and others from Japan, Poland, Italy and elsewhere in Europe are due to be outside the prison for his release on Wednesday.
The restrictions put on Vanunu are based on clauses 108 and 109 of the state of emergency statute passed by the British mandate in 1945. Vanunu will be allowed to choose where he lives, but will not be able to leave that town or city without police permission. He will not be allowed to go near foreign embassies, borders, ports or airports.
He will also be barred from talking about his work as a technician at the Dimona nuclear plant, or the circumstances in which he was kidnapped by the Israeli security services in Italy in 1986.
The restrictions are due to last for six months, after which they can be renewed. If he is found to be in breach of the restrictions, he could face another trial.
David Polden, of the Campaign to Free Vanunu, said that it was unclear whether Vanunu would be able to talk to his adoptive parents, the American peace campaigners Nick and Mary Eoloff. It was also unclear whether he would be able to answer journalists' questions, even if they are directed to him via a third party.
Susannah York, the actor, who has corresponded with Vanunu, said that he was anxious for a non-confrontational exit from prison.
" I want to look forward, not back," he had written to her in a letter 10 days ago.