Mordechai Vanunu - official release date approaching

 Mordechai Vanunu, the Jewish Christian technician who revealed the facts of Israel's secret nuclear weapons programme in 1986, should be freed from solitary confinement next year - according to the Amos Trust. Earlier this year, Vanunu's most recent parole appeal was refused, on the grounds that his 16 year old 'secrets' were so sensitive they threaten the state of Israel. However, the Trust has learnt that a date for release has been mentioned - 22 April 2004. By that time he will have served his full sentence. Campaigners are concerned that the release date is firmly established and kept to. The Trust said: "There has been talk of re-arresting him immediately after his release, and with an increase in 'security related' arrests (without trial) in the UK and USA we should be on guard to ensure that Mordechai Vanunu is freed on time to live the rest of his life where he chooses." Vanunu worked as a nuclear technician at Dimona, Israel's nuclear installation from 1976 to 85. In 1986 he revealed the facts of Israel's nuclear weapons programme to the world, through the London Sunday Times. Based on his evidence, experts concluded that Israel had stockpiled up to 200 warheads, making it the world's sixth largest nuclear power. On 30 September, days before his information was published, Vanunu was drugged and kidnapped from Rome by Israeli agents. He was tried in secrecy, charged with 'treason' and 'espionage' and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment. Since then he has been kept in complete isolation in conditions described by Amnesty International as "cruel, inhuman or degrading". The European Parliament has repeatedly condemned "the behaviour of the Israel authorities" and called for his release. Vanunu has been honoured by international organisations and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987, 1988, 1989 and again in 1993 and 1995. A Christian convert, Vanunu said: "I have sacrifices my freedom and risked my life in order to expose the danger of nuclear weapons which threatens this whole region. I have acted on behalf of all citizens and all of humanity." The Trust says: "Please pray for Mordechai and those supporting him. He has always faced his situation with courage and conviction, and the strain on him must be enormous." They are calling on people to write to their governments appealing for Vanunu's release date to be confirmed.

Share this story