Awards Peace Grant to Hersh, Vanunu
NEW YORK - Yoko Ono has awarded peace grants to journalist Seymour Hersh and Israeli nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu, men she says epitomize her late husband John Lennon's song, "Gimme Some Truth."
Hersh and Vanunu will each receive a $50,000 LennonOno Grant for Peace, according to a statement Thursday by Ono's publicist, Elliot Mintz.
Ono said the 2004 honorees are "people who have spoken out for the benefit of the human race by overcoming extreme personal difficulties and, in doing so, have allowed the truth to prevail."
" My hope is that the awards will not only honor the two recipients for their incredible courage but ask others to follow their example to take a stand for truth," she said in the statement.
Hersh and Vanunu will be honored at a private dinner at the United Nations on Oct. 7, two days before the anniversary of Lennon's birthday. Lennon was killed in 1980 outside his Manhattan apartment building. He would have been 64 on Oct. 9.
Vanunu, a former technician at an Israeli nuclear reactor, served 18 years in prison for divulging information about Israel's nuclear secrets.
Hersh, a writer for the New Yorker magazine, has published a series of investigative articles about the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq, compiled in a new book, "Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib."
Ono established the biennial grant program in 2002. The first winners were Palestinian artist Khalil Rabah and Israeli artist Zvi Goldstein.