Mordechai Vanunu was released from Ashkelon Prison on April 21, 2004, after spending his entire 18 year sentence in prison (11 1/2 of those in solitary confinement) on charges of treason and espionage for blowing the whistle on Israel's "secret" nuclear arsenal. He was greeted by a large delegation of anti-nuclear, peace and human rights activists from a dozen countries, organized by the international campaigns.
However, his newfound freedom is seriously compromised, due to restrictions delivered to him by Israeli authorities during his last week behind bars, including not being allowed to leave Israel. (click here for more info)
The U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu, along with other campaigns around the world, is working for an end to the restrictions and towards the day when Mordechai Vanunu can be truly free. Together with Mordechai Vanunu, we continue to call for a nuclear-free Middle East and world.
In countries throughout the globe, Vanunu continues to be honored for his courage and integrity for telling the simple truth at great personal risk.
Vanunu has been repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, Nuclear Free Future Award, Lennon Ono Grant for Peace and an honorary doctorate from Tromsø University in Norway. In December 2004, he was elected rector of Glasgow University, Scotland. He has received a great deal of support from politicians and religious, scientific and cultural leaders, and others concerned about human rights violations and the spread of nuclear weapons.
The American campaign was founded and coordinated by veteran peace activist Sam Day until his death in January, 2001. Former associate coordinator Felice Cohen-Joppa now coordinates the campaign. Associate coordinators are Art Laffin and Jack Cohen-Joppa. The campaign publishes a newsletter; maintains an updated website; sends out regular email alerts and updates; has monthly vigils at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.; works closely with campaigns in other countries in organizing activities to fight for Mordechai Vanunu's full freedom, and provides financial support for Vanunu to help cover some of his expenses. Members of the U.S. Campaign will be part of another international delegation going to Israel April 18-22, 2005.
In calling for Mordechai Vanunu's full freedom and acknowledgement of Israel's nuclear arsenal, the U.S. Campaign also focuses critical attention on U.S. nuclear weapons policies. One problem is the double-standard which undermines the government's official stance against nuclear weapons proliferation. While opposing the nuclear aspirations of Third World countries like Iran and North Korea, successive Presidents have turned a blind eye to the major transgressions of Israel, our close Middle East ally. The other problem is our own government's continued reliance on nuclear weapons as a way of projecting U.S. power and influence around the world. The campaign's ultimate goal, inspired by Mordechai Vanunu's example, is a nuclear-free world.