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Limits on Vanunu eased slightly ahead of release

By Yossi Melman and Relly Sa'ar, Haaretz Correspondents
Ha’aretz 20/04/2004
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/417201.html


The defense establishment on Monday decided to ease some of the restrictions on nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, who goes free on Wednesday after serving an 18-year sentence.

The move came after defense officials realized that some of the restrictions were legally untenable. Thus, the ban on discussing his abduction was lifted. The ban on going near embassies was also altered; Vanunu was told that he could go near them, but not enter them.

Interior Minister Avraham Poraz signed an injunction on Monday prohibiting Vanunu from leaving Israel for one year. Other restrictions imposed on him by the defense establishment will remain in effect for six months. Defense sources said the main reason for preventing Vanunu from leaving the country and not issuing him a passport was that he still knows state secrets that may jeopardize state security.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), which represents Vanunu, intends to petition the High Court of Justice against the restrictions, after Vanunu's request to revoke them were rejected.

Vanunu, who was convicted for revealing details of Israel's previously covert nuclear facility in Dimona to Britain's Sunday Times newspaper in October 1986, will take up residence in Jaffa's luxurious Andromeda Hill apartment complex, security sources said Monday.

Vanunu must notify the authorities of his address in the Dan region and advise the police 24 hours in advance if he wants to sleep at another address. He must not be within 500 meters of border crossings, or partake in Internet chats unless permitted.

While some restrictions were eased, Vanunu was warned not to give interviews to the media about his work and to report to the police if anyone approaches him for this purpose.


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