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Anglican Bishop Offers Vanunu Unlimited Sanctuary in Church

By Yossi Melman
Haaretz Correspondent
Apr 28 04

JERUSALEM - Anglican Bishop Abu Al Assal has offered Mordechai Vanunu unlimited sanctuary at St. George's church's guest house in East Jerusalem. The Bishop, who returned on Monday from a trip to Jordan and Lebanon, put an end to waves of speculation about Vanunu's future residence - one report had Vanunu about to move to a larger Anglican church in Nazareth.

Last night, Bishop Assal held a dinner for Vanunu, to express his support for the former nuclear technician who was recently freed from Shekma Prison. Vanunu and his brother Meir have not left the grounds of St. George's church for days.

This week, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which is representing Vanunu, and Israeli security officials worked out procedures for examining journals and letters confiscated from Vanunu's prison cell. Under the terms of this agreement, ACRI attorney Dan Yakir will receive a special security clearance, and will be authorized to review the disputed materials.

The most controversial item is a journal which Vanunu says he wrote in 1991, and which reportedly features written explanations and drawings relating to production processes at Dimona nuclear reactor.

Yehiel Horev, the chief security officer for the Defense Ministry, has indicated that this journal justifies the imposition of security restrictions on Vanunu, on the grounds that he still possesses classified information about the reactor and the will to disclose it. ACRI says the journal belongs to Vanunu and that it is needed for the preparation of a High Court petition calling for lifting current restrictions on him.


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