Friday, September 17, 2004

Mordechai Vanunu

Mordechai Vanunu will speak at a "film festival" in the UK, even though as part of his release from jail he is disallowed to talk to foreigners:

Whistleblower defies gagging order
(Filed: 17/09/2004)

Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear whistleblower, is to address a film festival in the UK in defiance of a ban on talking to foreigners.

Mr Vanunu spent 18 years in prison for espionage and treason, more than 11 of those in solitary confinement, before his release in April.

During his captivity he became an icon of the global anti-nuclear movement but he is regarded by some Israeli critics as a traitor.

Under the terms of his release, Mr Vanunu is not permitted to talk to foreign nationals and has to remain in Israel for a year.

He must notify police if he leaves the city of Jerusalem, where he has been staying, or if he spends the night in another home.

But, despite the restrictions, Mr Vanunu has been interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland and is expected to take part in a telephone question-and-answer session tomorrow.

The event takes place at the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival at the UGC Cinema in Renfrew Street, Glasgow.

Mr Vanunu denied he was risking imprisonment by taking part in the event.

"All that I am saying is the secrets were published 18 years ago," he said.

The whistleblower gave The Sunday Times information and photographs from Israel's top secret Dimona nuclear reactor in 1986.

The newspaper published an extensive article which led experts to determine that Israel had a large arsenal of nuclear weapons.

He was subsequently abducted from Italy by Israeli agents and imprisoned for treason.


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