MORDECHAI VANUNU (מרדכי ואנונו): A Story About Violation of Human Rights

ew weeks ago we receive a short letter from Eileen Fleming. ( She is founder of ;  staff  member of and  correspondent  for She remember us a very bad story. The story of Mordechai Vanunu. A story about  violation of human rights. Just like us  many of you, don’t remember about Mordechai Vanunu. So here below we try to remind you what was going on during this years and why Vanunu’s story is important. Eileen Fleming’s mail says: “In 2005, Vanunu told me: “Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons? In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’ “Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection. The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona. The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out. Everything inside was written in French, when I was there, almost twenty years ago. Back then, the Dimona descended seven floors underground. In 1955, Perez and Guirion met with the French to agree they would get a nuclear reactor if they fought against Egypt to control the Sinai and Suez Canal. That was the war of 1956. Eisenhower demanded that Israel leave the Sinai, but the reactor plant deal continued on. Kennedy demanded inspections. When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them. Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year…”
But let’ see better who is Mr. Mordechai Vanunu ? He is a former Israeli nuclear technician who, citing his opposition to weapons of mass destruction, revealed details of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986. He was subsequently lured to Italy by a Mossad spy, where he was drugged and kidnapped by Israeli intelligence agents. He was transported to Israel and ultimately convicted in a trial that was held behind closed doors. Regarded by peace activists as a hero for taking a stand against weapons proliferation, Vanunu has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize many times. He spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 years in solitary confinement. Released from prison in 2004, he became subject to a broad array of restrictions on his speech and movement. Since then he has been arrested several times for violations of those restrictions, including giving various interviews to foreign journalists and attempting to leave Israel. He says that he suffered “cruel and barbaric treatment” at the hands of Israeli authorities while imprisoned, and suggests that his treatment would have been different if he were Jewish (Vanunu is a Christian convert from Judaism).
In 2007, Vanunu was sentenced to six months in prison for violating terms of his parole. The sentence was considered unusual even by the prosecution who expected a suspended sentence. In response, Amnesty International issued a press release on 2 July 2007, stating that “The organisation considers Mordechai Vanunu to be a prisoner of conscience and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.” In May 2010, Vanunu was arrested and sentenced to three months in jail on suspicion that he met foreigners in violation of conditions of his 2004 release from jail. He  has been characterized internationally as a whistleblower and by Israel as a traitor. Daniel Ellsberg has referred to him as “the preeminent hero of the nuclear era”. In 2010, the British artist Richard Hamilton completed a painting based on the famous press photograph of Vanunu in transit after his kidnapping, with the information concerning his capture in Rome scrawled on his hand for the press outside. Vanunu was born in Marrakech, Morocco, to a Sephardi Jewish family; his father was a rabbi. In 1963, at the age of nine, he emigrated under the Law of Return with his parents and the first 4 of his 11 brothers and sisters to Israel. He studied in an ultra orthodox elementary school, and attended, but did not finish, a Bnei Akiva yeshiva high school. Vanunu completed his three years of military service as a sapper in the IDF Combat Engineering Corps, with the rank of First Sergeant. After completing his service, Vanunu began working as a technician at the Negev Nuclear Research Center. Concurrently, he became a part-time geography and philosophy student at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
At that time he became critical of many policies of the Israeli government, forming a group called “Campus” with four other Jewish students and five Arab students. Vanunu was also affiliated with a group called “Movement for the Advancement of Peace.” In early 1980s Vanunu converted to Christianity from Judaism. He graduated from Ben-Gurion University in 1985 with a BA in Philosophy and Geography. Vanunu’s photograph of a Negev Nuclear Research Center glove box containing nuclear materials in a model bomb assembly, one of about 60 photographs he later gave to the British press. Between 1976 and 1985, he was employed as a nuclear plant technician and shift manager at the Negev Nuclear Research Center, an Israeli facility used to develop and manufacture nuclear weapons, located in the Negev Desert south of Dimona.
Most worldwide intelligence agencies estimate that Israel developed nuclear weapons as early as the 1960s, but the country has intentionally maintained a “policy of deliberate ambiguity”, neither acknowledging nor denying that it possesses the weapons. It was during his employment there that one of the left-wing groups in which Vanunu held membership protested against Israel’s 1981 destruction of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor, which was part of the supposed Iraqi nuclear weapons development programme. The Jerusalem Post stated that Vanunu took active part in these protests, arguing that this showed that he was motivated by antipathy to Israel’s policies in his later actions. It is believed that at Dimona, Vanunu became increasingly troubled about the Israeli nuclear weapons programme on which he worked and possible Israeli nuclear strategies in the event of war.
When he was laid off from Dimona in 1985, he left Israel. He arrived in Nepal and considered a conversion to Buddhism, later travelling to Burma and Thailand. In 1986, he travelled to Sydney, Australia. On 1986, the British newspaper The Sunday Times ran the story on its front page under the headline: “Revealed: the secrets of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.” While in Sydney, he met Peter Hounam, a journalist from The Sunday Times in London. In early September 1986, Vanunu flew to London with Hounam, and in violation of his non-disclosure agreement, revealed to The Sunday Times his knowledge of the Israeli nuclear programme, including photographs he had secretly taken at the Dimona site. The Sunday Times was wary of being duped after having previously been embarrassed by the Hitler Diaries hoax.
As a result, the newspaper insisted on verifying Vanunu’s story with leading nuclear weapon experts, including former U.S. nuclear weapons designer Theodore Taylor and former British AWE engineer Frank Barnaby, who agreed that Vanunu’s story was factual and correct. Vanunu gave detailed descriptions of lithium-6 separation required for the production of tritium, an essential ingredient of fusion-boosted fission bombs. While both experts concluded that Israel might be making such single-stage boosted bombs, Vanunu, whose work experience was limited to material (not component) production, gave no specific evidence that Israel was making two-stage thermonuclear bombs, such as neutron bombs. Vanunu described the plutonium processing used, giving a production rate of about 30 kg per year, and stated that Israel used about 4 kg per weapon. From this information it was possible to estimate that Israel had sufficient plutonium for about 150 nuclear weapons. Vanunu states in his letters that he intended to share the money received from the newspaper with the Anglican Church of Australia. Apparently, frustrated by the delay while Hounam was completing his research, Vanunu approached a rival newspaper, the tabloid Sunday Mirror, whose owner was Robert Maxwell.
In 1991, a self-described former Mossad officer or government translator named Ari Ben-Menashe alleged that Maxwell had tipped off the Mossad, possibly through British secret services, about Vanunu. It is also possible that they were alerted by enquiries made to Israelis or to the Israeli Embassy in London by Sunday Mirror journalists. The Israeli government decided to capture Vanunu, but determined to avoid harming its good relationship with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and wanting to not risk confrontation with British Intelligence, determined Vanunu should be persuaded to leave UK territory under his own volition. Masquerading as an American tourist called “Cindy”, Israeli Mossad agent Cheryl Bentov befriended Vanunu, and on 30 September persuaded him to fly to Rome with her on a holiday. Once in Rome, Mossad agents drugged him and carried him to Israel on a freighter, beginning what was to be more than a decade of solitary confinement in Israeli prisons. On 5 October, the Sunday Times published the information it had revealed, and estimated that Israel had produced more than 100 nuclear warheads. In July 2004 Vanunu claimed in the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper that the state of Israel was complicit in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He claimed there were “near-certain indications” Kennedy was assassinated in response to “pressure he exerted on Israel’s then head of government, David Ben-Gurion, to shed light on Dimona’s nuclear reactor”. ( ).
Vanunu revealed details of his detention by writing on his hand: “Vanunu M was hijacked in Rome. ITL. 30.9.86, 21:00. Came to Rome by fly BA504.”Vanunu was put on trial in Israel on charges of treason and espionage. The trial, held in secret, took place in the District Court in Jerusalem before Chief Justice Eliahu Noam and judges Zvi Tal and Shalom Brener. He was not permitted contact with the media but he wrote the details of his abduction (or “hijacking” as he put it) on the palm of his hand, and while being transported he held his hand against the van’s window so that waiting journalists could get the information. On 27 February 1988, the court sentenced him to 18 years’ imprisonment from the date of his capture. The Israeli government refused to release the transcript of the court case until, after the threat of legal action, it agreed to let censored extracts be published in Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper, in late 1999. The death penalty in Israel is restricted to special circumstances. In 2004, former Mossad director Shabtai Shavit told Reuters that the option of extrajudicial execution was considered in 1986, but rejected because “Jews don’t do that to other Jews.” The Israeli government kept him in near total isolation for more than 11 years, allegedly out of concern that he might reveal more Israeli nuclear secrets and because he was still bound by the contract that swore him to secrecy on the subject.
While in prison, he refused psychiatric treatment. Surrounded by dozens of journalists and flanked by two of his brothers, he held an impromptu press conference, but refused to answer questions in Hebrew because of the suffering he said he sustained at the hands of the state of Israel. Vanunu said Israel’s Mossad spy agency and the Shin Bet security services tried to rob him of his sanity by keeping him in solitary confinement. “You didn’t succeed to break me, you didn’t succeed to make me crazy,” he said. Many critics argue that Vanunu had no additional information that would pose a real security threat to Israel, and that the Israeli government’s real motivation is a desire to avoid political embarrassment and financial complications for itself and allies such as the United States. By not acknowledging possession of nuclear weapons, Israel avoids a US legal prohibition on funding countries which proliferate weapons of mass destruction. Such an admission would prevent Israel from receiving, as it does  more than $3 billion each year in military and other aid from Washington. Ray Kidder, then a senior American nuclear scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has said: “ On the basis of this research and my own professional experience, I am ready to challenge any official assertion that Mr. Vanunu possesses any technical nuclear information not already made public.”  His last appeal against his conviction, to the Supreme Court of Israel in 1990, failed.
While in prison, Vanunu says, he took part in small acts of rebellion, such as refusing to talk with the guards, reading only English-language newspapers, and watching only BBC television. “He is the most stubborn, principled, and tough person I have ever met,” said his lawyer, Avigdor Feldman. On 23 May 2010, Mordechai Vanunu was imprisoned for a three-month sentence. Eleven days earlier, Amnesty International had released a press release following the announcement of this sentence: “If Mordechai Vanunu is imprisoned again, Amnesty International will declare him to be a prisoner of conscience and call for his immediate and unconditional release.” Vanunu was released from prison on 21 April 2004. He indicated a desire to completely dissociate himself from Israel, initially refusing to speak in Hebrew, and planning to move to Europe or the US as soon as the Israeli government would permit him to do so.
Shortly before his scheduled release, Vanunu remained defiant under interrogation by the security service, Shin Bet. In recordings of the interview made public after his release, he is heard saying “I am neither a traitor nor a spy, I only wanted the world to know what was happening.” He also said, “We don’t need a Jewish state. There needs to be a Palestinian state. Jews can, and have lived anywhere, so a Jewish State is not necessary. “Vanunu is a difficult and complex person. He remains stubbornly, admirably uncompromisingly true to his principles, is willing to pay the price”, said Ha’aretz newspaper in 2008. A number of prohibitions were placed upon Vanunu after his release from jail and are still in force, in particular:
he shall not be able to have contacts with citizens of other countries but Israel
he shall not use phones
he shall not own cellullar phones
he shall not have access to the Internet
he shall not approach or enter embassies and consulates
he shall not come within 500 metres of any international border crossing
he shall not visit any port of entry and airport
he shall not leave the State of Israel
Israeli authorities state that their reason of these forbiddances and liberties restrictions is fear of his spreading further state secrets and that he is still bound by his non-disclosure agreement. These stipulate that he must inform the authorities in advance about his place of residence, his movements between cities, and who he intends to meet. While a court found in 2005 that he should be free to go to the Gaza Strip and West Bank, a year later further restrictions explicitly forbade him to visit either, reversing the court’s initial decision. Vanunu says that his knowledge is now outdated and he has nothing more he could possibly reveal that is not already widely known. Despite the stated restrictions Vanunu has given interviews to the foreign press since his release, including a live phone interview to BBC Radio Scotland. On April 2004, Vanunu asked the Norwegian government for a Norwegian passport and asylum in Norway for “humanitarian reasons,” according to Norwegian news agencies. He also sent applications to other countries, and stated that he would accept asylum in any country because he fears for his life.
Former conservative Norwegian Prime Minister Kåre Willoch asked the conservative government to give Vanunu asylum, and the University of Tromsø offered him a job. On 9 April 2008, it was revealed that Vanunu’s request for asylum in Norway was rejected in 2004 by Erna Solberg, Minister of Local Government in the liberal coalition government led by then Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. While the Norwegian foreigner directorate (State Department)  had been prepared to grant Vanunu asylum, it was suddenly decided that the application could not be accepted because Vanunu had applied for it from outside of the borders of Norway. An unclassified document revealed that Solberg and the government considered that extracting Vanunu from Israel might be seen as an action against Israel and thereby unfitting the Norwegian government’s tradition role as a friend of Israel and as a political player in the Middle East. Since the information has been revealed, Solberg has rejected criticism and defended her decision.
Vanunu’s application for asylum in Sweden has also been rejected on the grounds that Sweden, like Norway does not accept absentee asylum applications. He also unsuccessfully requested asylum in the Republic of Ireland, which would require him to first be allowed to leave Israel. He has not applied for asylum in his native Morocco. In 2006, Amnesty International’s British branch chief, Keith Allen, wrote that Microsoft handed over the details of Vanunu’s Hotmail email account by alluding that he was being investigated for espionage. This happened before a court order had been obtained. International calls for his freedom of movement and freedom of speech made by organizations supporting Vanunu have been either ignored or rejected by Israel. On  May 2008, the “Norwegian Lawyer’s Petition for Vanunu” was released, signed by 24 Norwegian attorneys. It calls on the Norwegian government to urgently implement a three-point action plan “within the framework of international and Norwegian law” and allow Vanunu to travel to, live and work in Norway. On October 2010, Vanunu’s appeal to rescind the restrictions and allow him to leave Israel and speak to foreigners was denied by Israeli Supreme Court. Yossi Melman, an Israeli journalist, wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz “Vanunu’s harassment by the Israeli government is unprecedented and represents a distortion of every accepted legal norm.” Vanunu was denied parole at a hearing in May 1998. Five years later, parole was again refused. At this parole hearing, Vanunu’s lawyer Avigdor Feldman maintained that his client had no more secrets and should be freed.
But the prosecution argued that the imminent war with Iraq would preclude his release. After the hearing Mr Feldman said: “The prosecutor said that if Vanunu were released, the Americans would probably leave Iraq and go after Israel and Israel’s nuclear weapons – which I found extremely ridiculous.” The real force blocking Vanunu’s release who had been known only as “Y” was exposed in 2001 as Yehiyel Horev, the head of Mossad’s nuclear and military secrets branch. Following his release in 2004, Vanunu appeared in Israeli courts on numerous occasions on charges of having violated the terms of his release. He was arrested and detained for attempting to go to Bethlehem, on at least one occasion his room in St. George’s Cathedral was raided by policemen and his belongings were confiscated. Yehiel Horev, the strictest of all the security chiefs in Israel, especially in regard to the protection of institutions such as the Dimona facility and the Biological Institute is apprehensive that if Vanunu goes abroad, he will continue to be a nuisance by stimulating the public debate over Israel’s nuclear policy and the nuclear weapons he says Israel possesses. This is the secret that hasn’t yet been told in the affair: the story of the security fiasco that made it possible for Vanunu to do what he did, and the story of the subsequent attempts at cover-up, whitewashing and protection of senior figures in the defense establishment, who were bent on divesting themselves of responsibility for the failure. On  November 2004, Vanunu was arrested by the International Investigations Unit of the Israeli police at around 9am while eating breakfast.
The arrest stemmed from an ongoing probe examining suspicions of leaking national secrets and violating legal rulings since his release from prison. Police officers wearing bulletproof vests and carrying machine guns entered into the walled compound of St. George’s Anglican Church in East Jerusalem, where Vanunu had been renting a room since his release. Police removed papers and a computer from his room. After a few hours’ detention, Vanunu was put under house arrest, which was to last seven days. On 24 December 2004 in a vehicle marked as belonging to the foreign press, Vanunu was apprehended by Israeli Police while he was attempting to enter the West Bank in violation of his release restrictions, allegedly to attend mass at the Church of the Nativity. After posting bail of 50,000 NIS, he was released into five-day house arrest. On 26 January 2005 the BBC reported that its Jerusalem deputy bureau chief, Simon Wilson, was banned from Israel after he refused to submit interview material made with Vanunu to Israeli censors. Vanunu gave the interview in violation of court orders. Wilson was allowed to return to Israel on 12 March 2005 after signing an apology letter acknowledging that he defied the law. On  March 2005 Vanunu was charged with 21 counts of “contravening a lawful direction” (maximum penalty two years’ imprisonment per count) and one count of “attempting to contravene a lawful direction.” On 18 November 2005 Vanunu was arrested at the al-Ram checkpoint north of Jerusalem as he was returning by bus from the West Bank. The Israeli authorities say Vanunu’s travel ban includes visits to the Palestinian territories. On 13 April 2007 Vanunu was informed that the Israeli government has continued his house arrest in Jerusalem and has renewed all the restrictions against him, for the fourth time and third year of detention in east Jerusalem. On 30 April 2007 Vanunu was convicted of violating the order barring foreign contacts and traveling outside Jerusalem.
In July 2007, Vanunu was sentenced to a further six months imprisonment for speaking to foreigners and traveling to Bethlehem. The court’s sentence was unexpected, and even the prosecution expected the court to hand down a suspended sentence, meant solely as a deterrent. Following his sentence, Vanunu commented that his conviction proved that Israel was still ruled, in effect, by the British Mandate because the law under which he was convicted is from that era. “Maybe I need to turn to the Queen or to Tony Blair in order to grant me justice,” he said. While having dinner at the American Colony in East Jerusalem with a foreigner, Vanunu was arrested for the second time on a Christmas Eve. On 7 January 2008, the day before his appeal against the above sentence was to begin, Israel instead re-sentenced him to six months of community service. On 19 February 2008 Vanunu wrote: “The court hearing today Feb. 19 was again postponed, because of a small snow here. We are waiting for the next hearing date” which would be “soon.” Vanunu’s appeal hearing was scheduled to resume on 23 March 2008 but on that date he learned that it was rescheduled to 13 May 2008. On 7 April 2008 Vanunu learned that Israel had renewed the restrictions against him for the fifth year. On 9 April 2008 it was reported that Norway had joined Sweden, Canada and Denmark in refusing asylum to Vanunu. On 9 April 2008 unclassified documents revealed that the former Norwegian coalition government led by former prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik denied Vanunu asylum in 2004 as a supportive action to the Israeli government. On 13 May 2008 Vanunu wrote that although three judges attempted to convince the Government Lawyer to offer community service in East Jerusalem, it was denied. Vanunu’s appeal against his six months jail sentence was set to resume on 8 July 2008.
On 15 May 2008 the Norwegian Lawyer’s Petition called upon the Norwegian government to urgently implement a three-point action plan within the framework of international and Norwegian law, to grant Vanunu asylum and permission to work and stay in Norway. On 8 July 2008 Israeli judges announced that they would delay their decision until September. On 23 September 2008 the Jerusalem District Court announced: “In light of Vanunu’s ailing health and the absence of claims that his actions put the country’s security in jeopardy, we believe his sentence should be reduced.” Vanunu said his health is fine and that, “The issue is about my right to be free, my right to speak and my right to leave the state.” In October 2008, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond called for Vanunu’s release, saying: “The Scottish Government is well aware of the campaign by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and supports the lifting of all restrictions imposed on Mr Mordechai Vanunu.” On 26 November 2008, “Vanunu’s Supreme Court appeal fighting a three month jail sentence [reduced from six] for speaking to foreigners-who happened to be media-in 2004, is scheduled to be heard in the New Year.” On 14 June 2009, Vanunu stated, “The Central Commander of the General Army testified in court that it is OK if I speak in public as long as I do not talk about nuclear weapons… They renewed the restrictions to not speak to foreigners until November. The appeal [against three months in jail for speaking to foreign media in 2004] was scheduled for January, then May 6th and June 18th. Now I am waiting for a new court date.” On 6 July 2009, Vanunu’s “attorney Avigdor Feldman…and the state agreed that after six months, pending a review of his conduct, Vanunu will be able to ask for the restrictions to be lifted and be allowed to travel abroad.” On 28 December 2009, Mr. Vanunu was once again arrested “by Jerusalem Police in a hotel in the capital following an alleged meeting with his girlfriend, a Norwegian national.
He remained in jail on Tuesday, though was set to be transferred to house arrest…” On 29 December 2009, Russian media reported that a search of Vanunu’s belongings uncovered a letter from an American causing Israeli officials to be concerned that “he could be orchestrating something.” On 1 January 2010, it was revealed that Vanunu has known his Norwegian girlfriend, Dr. Kristin Joachimsen, a scholar and an associate professor of Biblical Studies for two years. On 7 January 2010, Vanunu published his video message to the Media regarding his most recent arrest and Israel’s “impotent” nuclear ambiguity. US law bans funding countries that proliferate WMD. The Statehood of Israel was contingent upon upholding the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On 14 December 2009, Vanunu returned to Israeli Supreme Court. He expects a decision “in a few weeks” and remains confident he will be freed as “they have no case against me.” On 21 December 2009, Uzi Eilam, a retired army brigadier-general and former head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission stated Vanunu “served the regime because his revelations helped Tel Aviv intimidate others…he should be let go. I don’t think he has significant knowledge to reveal (about Dimona) now.” On 14 April 2010, Vanunu reported that the restrictions denying him the right to leave Israel have been renewed for another year. On 11 May 2010, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Mordechai Vanunu, will “serve a three-month jail sentence handed to him by Jerusalem District Court and not community service” which will begin on May 23, 2010. The Court refused Vanunu’s offer to do community service in east Jerusalem.
On 24 May 2010, the BBC reported that Vanunu had begun serving a three-month jail term for having violated the terms of his release in 2004. He had originally been sentenced to six months’ community service but he had refused to comply, saying he would be in danger of being assaulted by a member of the Israeli public. He was then sent to jail for three months instead. On June 18, it was reported that Vanunu had been placed in solitary confinement. On 8 August 2010, Vanunu was released after 3 months prison in Israel. Mordechai Vanunu in 2009.Vanunu wrote the poem “I’m Your Spy” early during the first eleven and a half years he was held in strict isolation. Amnesty International described his treatment as constituting “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment such as is prohibited by international law.” Vanunu received the Right Livelihood Award in 1987, and was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Tromsø in 2001. He was nominated by Joseph Rotblat for the Nobel Peace Prize every year from 1988 to 2004. In March 2009 Vanunu wrote to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in Oslo: “I am asking the committee to remove my name from the list for this year’s list of nominations. I cannot be part of a list of laureates that includes Shimon Peres, the President of Israel. He is the man who was behind all the Israeli atomic policy. Peres established and developed the atomic weapon program in Dimona in Israel..Peres was the man who ordered the kidnapping of me in Italy Rome, Sept. 30, 1986, and for the secret trial and sentencing of me as a spy and traitor for 18 years in isolation in prison in Israel. Until now he continues to oppose my freedom and release, in spite of my serving full sentence 18 years. From all these reasons I don’t want be nominated and will not accept this nomination. I say No to any nomination as long as I am not free, that is, as long as I am still forced to be in Israel. What I want is freedom and only freedom.”
In September 2004, artist and musician Yoko Ono gave Mordechai Vanunu a peace prize founded in her late husband, John Lennon’s memory. In December 2004, he was elected by the students of the University of Glasgow to serve for three years as Rector. On Friday 22 April 2005 he was formally installed in the post, but could not carry out any of its functions as he was still confined to Israel. The Herald newspaper launched a campaign for his release. In 2005 he received the Peace Prize of the Norwegian People (Folkets fredspris).[citation needed] Previous recipients of this prize include Vytautas Landsbergis (1991), Alva Myrdal (1982), Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams. On 24 February 2010, Nobel Institute Director Geir Lundestad announced that for the second year in a row, Mordechai Vanunu declined the honor of being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Vanunu wrote, “What I want now, I need now, is freedom, passport, not awards.” On 4 October 2010, the International League for Human Rights announced that Mordechai Vanunu was awarded the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal for 2010.  We don’t know how and when this stupid story will finish and Vanunu will be really free. Our desire making this post is to show all of you how important is the freedom. The freedom of speaking, thinking, travelling… Freedom is one of the most precious right that humans have. So we invite you all to act and fight for this right. For more and detailed information about this story we invite you to visit the links below.