INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION AS LAWYERS APPEAL "A SPECIAL PRISON JUST FOR MORDECHAI VANUNU."
April 18, 2004
Lawyers representing Mordechai Vanunu on Sunday appealed Israel's plan to bar the long-imprisoned nuclear whistleblower from travel within or outside of Israel, and from all contact with foreigners, when he is released from prison on Wednesday. Vanunu has spent nearly 18 years in prison, most of it in solitary confinement.
" This is just the continuation of his confinement with different conditions," said Oded Feller, of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).
" Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg declared from San Francisco, "The outrageous and illegal restrictions proposed to be inflicted on him when he finally steps out of prison should be widely protested and rejected, not only because they violate his fundamental human rights but because the world needs to hear this free man's voice."
The ACRI's Oded delivered Vanunu's appeal to Interior Minister Avraham Poraz and Home Front commander Major General Yair Naveh, who both signed the decree. If rejected, Vanunu's appeal will then be brought to Israel's High Court.
Mordechai Vanunu has served his full 18 year sentence. He has no more nuclear secrets to tell about Dimona, and he has promised never to name other workers he knew.
" For his loyalty to the public interest he has been excessively punished. To restrict his right of free movement and free speech upon his release would bring the treatment of Vanunu to new, unimaginable levels of illegality and cruelty." said Fredrik S. Heffermehl of Norway, Vice President of International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA).
The nearly 100 human rights
and anti-nuclear activists from 14 countries in Israel to welcome the prisoner
to freedom "will not be able to greet him
face-to-face, shake his hand, embrace, or break bread with Vanunu without putting
him at risk to be immediately arrested and returned to prison," said Rayna
Moss of the Israeli Committee for Mordechai Vanunu and for a Middle East Free
of Atomic, Biological and Chemical Weapons.
" This is an outrageous injustice not fitting for a democratic nation," said Felice Cohen-Joppa, Coordinator of the U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu, who is now in Israel. "With these restrictions, the Israeli government is building a special prison just for Mordechai Vanunu."
The U.S. Campaign to Free
Mordechai Vanunu asks people of good will to call or fax the Israeli Embassy
in Washington, DC, and demand that the restrictions
be dropped and Mordechai Vanunu be permitted to leave Israel immediately
after his release from prison on April 21.