A Message from Mordechai Vanunu
"Lighten My Burden, Stop the Train."
These are words from the poem "I am Your Spy" written by me from solitary confinement at Ashkelon Prison in Israel.
I was a nuclear technician at what proved to be a clandestine nuclear weapons program in Dimona Israel. Following my opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and my conviction that in a democracy, no small group within the government has the right to create a nuclear arsenal in secret thereby exposing their own people and their neighbours to the risk of nuclear annihilation, I delivered evidence about the Dimona program to a London newspaper, the Sunday Times, in 1986. Israel's Mossad then abducted me to Israel, via Rome, in violation of the territorial integrity of Italy. I was sentenced as a spy to 18 years in prison. I wrote "I'm Your Spy" early during the first 11 1/2 years of my imprisonment when I was held in strict isolation. I was released on April 21 this year. Since I had become a Christian in 1986, I sought and was granted refuge at the St. George's Anglican Cathedral guest house in occupied East Jerusalem.
But I am not really free. Under restrictions based on regulation 6 of the State of Emergency Regulations imposed by Britain in 1948 I am prevented by an order of the Ministry of the Interior from leaving the country for at least one year, from associating with foreigners, severely limited in my movements and under the constant surveillance of the security establishment. These restrictions were upheld in a judgment of the Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice on July 26, 2004 following an oral hearing July 11. At this hearing, extraordinary by any standards in a supposed democracy, I and my two lawyers were excluded from hearing the State's evidence. We were granted only ten minutes of a hearing at the beginning and fifteen minutes at the end.
I am accused by the state of posing a security threat because I have an excellent memory of conditions at Dimona two decades ago. As I have said I have no nuclear secrets to reveal and I have no wish to harm Israel - I just want to be free.
I want to be free to visit my many friends abroad, to travel and to relocate in a country which does truly value freedom.
The State of Israel has now launched an investigation against me because it claims that I have violated the restrictions placed on me after my release from prison. These are restrictions on my rights to freedom of association, of expression and of movement. The Israeli government wants to make me a permanent prisoner. Why? To silence me because I want a nuclear free Middle East? To silence me because I want a world without the threat of nuclear war? To silence me because I want freedom for Palestinians and Israelis - for all peoples of the Middle East? To silence me because I want to stop the train of mass destruction?
They know I have no secrets to tell. They know that I stand for peace and human dignity. These are values for which Canadians stand and which their government proclaims. That is why I can be free in Canada if the Canadian government will grant me refuge.