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Israel: ‘Vindictive’ ruling keeps whistle-blower Vanunu under house arrest

Israel: ‘Vindictive’ ruling keeps whistle-blower Vanunu under house arrest

11 September 2015, 14:23 UTC

Today’s court decision to keep Israeli nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu under house arrest for giving a media interview is vindictive and heavy-handed, Amnesty International said.

The Jerusalem district court turned down his appeal against a week of house arrest imposed yesterday in connection with an interview he gave to Israeli broadcaster Channel 2 on 4 September. The sentence also prohibits him from using the internet or speaking to any journalists.

List of whistleblowers

List of whistleblowers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The restrictions on Mordechai Vanunu are punitive and vindictive,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

The restrictions on Mordechai Vanunu are punitive and vindictive.
Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International

“The latest attacks on Vanunu’s freedom are just one more example of the Israeli authorities’ determination to continue to exact retribution and make an example of him for what he did in 1986 and for which he paid the high price of 18 years in prison.

“Punishing him further now does nothing to protect Israel’s national security – any information he disclosed almost three decades ago is by now way past its sell-by date.”

Amnesty International considers Mordechai Vanunu to be a prisoner of conscience, deprived of his liberty solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

He previously spent 18 years in prison, including 11 years in solitary confinement, for revealing details of Israel’s nuclear arsenal to the British newspaper The Sunday Times in 1986. Following that disclosure, agents from Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad abducted him in Italy and held him in prolonged secret detention.

English: Mordechai Vanunu (Hebrew: מרדכי ואנונ...

English: Mordechai Vanunu (Hebrew: מרדכי ואנונו‎, born in Marrakech, Morocco on 14 October 1954) is an Israeli former nuclear technician who revealed details of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though Mordechai Vanunu was released in 2004 after serving his sentence, his ordeal continues today. He remains subjected to military orders that impose punitive and unnecessary restrictions, including bans on foreign travel or going near foreign embassies, as well as restrictions on his internet use and communications with foreigners.

But, until his arrest this week, he had not been barred from speaking to Israeli journalists. Vanunu’s lawyers say that he did not breach his release conditions – the interview was given prior approval by an Israeli military censor.

Channel 2 is apparently standing fast to the principle of protecting their sources and has refused to give police the unedited footage of their recent interview with Mordechai Vanunu.

The latest restrictions on Vanunu’s freedom are just one more example of the Israeli authorities’ determination to punish and make an example of him.
Philip Luther

“The latest restrictions on Vanunu’s freedom are just one more example of the Israeli authorities’ determination to punish and make an example of him,” said Philip Luther.

Background

Since Mordechai Vanunu’s release from prison in 2004, Israel’s Supreme Court has repeatedly quashed his attempts to be able to exercise his rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association.
Last year, for example, the Supreme Court denied a petition from his lawyers to lift his travel ban so he could participate in an Amnesty International event on whistle-blowers in the UK and attend an event at the UK parliament to which he was invited by 54 members of parliament.

In 2010 he was imprisoned for three months after being convicted of breaching his restrictions by speaking to foreigners and attempting to attend Christmas Mass in Bethlehem.

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About Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian American columnist. Named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" for 2006/07 by the New America Media. He is the recipient of four Lisagor Awards from the Chicago Headline Club and the 2009 Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Visit his website at www.TheDailyHookah.com. Find his podcasts on iTunes and on Vimeo.

Discussion

One thought on “Israel: ‘Vindictive’ ruling keeps whistle-blower Vanunu under house arrest

  1. Dear Ray the image of Vanunu wearing the red shirt was snapped by me in 2009 and I gave it to Wiki but retained the copyright.
    Wiki is also wrong regarding Vanunu’s birth date- it is 13 October 1954, but when I attempted to correct Wiki it was not accepted.
    However I am now very happy that most all recent updates to Vanunu’s Wiki page are articles that link to The Arab Daily News here:
    http://thearabdailynews.com/author/eileen-fleming/

    Posted by Eileen Fleming | September 11, 2015, 11:42 am

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