April 19, 2004 For immediate release
The International Delegation currently in Israel to welcome Mordechai
Vanunu after his release is appalled by the news that an interview
videotaped last month with Vanunu at Ashkelon Prison will be
broadcast on Israeli television this evening. Without his knowledge or
consent, this is the first public media communication to Israel and the
world from a man who has been silenced for the past 18 years, the first
11 ½ of which were in solitary confinement.
At a visit this afternoon with Mordechai Vanunu, American adoptive
parents Nick and Mary Eoloff said he told them he did not give his
permission for the tape to be used for broadcast, and was not told that
was the intent. He was told it was a routine procedure for prisoners
The International Campaign to Free Vanunu continues to stand with
Mordechai Vanunu in condemnation of nuclear weapons and all
weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and around the world.
We continue to look for a free and open debate on the more than 200
Israeli thermonuclear weapons his revelations exposed 18 years ago.
An international delegation, comprised of over 80 individuals from a
dozen countries, will join together with Israelis at Ashkelon Prison
when Mordechai Vanunu walks out of the prison gate on April 21,
The delegation will begin a vigil at Asheklon Prison in anticipation of
Vanunu’s release at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20, and will be joined by
others at 3 p.m. A press conference will be held across the street
from the prison at 5 p.m. The delegates who will be speaking at the
press conference are marked below with an asterick. (*) In addition,
Gideon Spiro of the Israeli Committee for Mordechai Vanunu and for a
Middle East Free of Atomic, Biological and Chemical Weapons and
Issam Makhoul, Member of Knesset will speak.
International Noteworthy Delegates
*Colin Breed : Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament. Active
supporter of peace campaigns and long time supporter of Mordechai
Vanunu in the House of Commons. G.B.
Ben Birnberg: Internationally known Civil Liberties and Human Rights
Lawyer. Trustee of Campaign to Free Vanunu. G.B.
*Jeremy Corbyn: Labour Party Member of Parliament. Vice chair of
House of Commons Human Rights Committee. Active in supporting
many civil liberty and international peace causes. Longtime supporter
of the Campaign to Free Vanunu. G.B.
Bruce Kent: Past chairman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,
present vice chairman. Member of the International Peace Bureau,
tireless peace campaigner. Trustee of Campaign to Free Vanunu. G.B.
*Mairaed Maguire: Irish Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 1976 for her
work towards building peace in Northern Ireland and founder member of
the Peace People. Present in Israel with a delegation from Belfast and
*Susannah York: International actor, well known from Hollywood films,
theatre, radio and T.V., supporter of human rights causes and Trustee
of Campaign to Free Vanunu. G.B.
Pat Arrowsmith: Active in Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons since
1950’s. One of the organizers of the first Aldermaston march and
involved in many demonstrations against military bases involving arrest
Active in the Campaign to Free Vanunu. G.B.
Ernest Rodker: Coordinator, British Campaign to Free Vanunu
Nick and Mary Eoloff: Mordechai Vanunu’s adoptive parents since
1997, from St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Reverend Ed Browning: Retired Bishop Episcopal Church, USA
Barry Roth: Psychiatrist, peace and anti-nuclear activist, Boston,
Felice Cohen-Joppa: Coordinator, U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai
Vanunu. Tucson, Arizona, USA
Art Laffin: Associate coordinator, U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai
Vanunu, Washington, D.C., USA. Member of the Catholic Worker
Fredrik S. Heffermehl: lawyer, writer, translator and political organizer,
Honorary President of the Norwegian Peace Alliance, Vice President of
the International Peace Bureau, Vice President of the International
Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms, Honorary President of
the Norwegian Peace Alliance, Vice President of the International
Peace Bureau, Vice President of the International Association of
Lawyers against Nuclear Arms, and other organizations, Norway
Ole Kopreitan: executive director, Nei til atomvaapen (No to Nuclear
Arms), longtime Vanunu campaigner, Norway.
Messages to Mordechai Vanunu from around the world
>From Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London
I am sorry I cannot be with your other supporters today as they
celebrate your release from prison. I salute your courage and
determination over the past 17 and a half years, sacrificing your
freedom for the sake of a nuclear free Middle East and nuclear free
world. I hope at some point you may want to come to London to meet
the many supporters who have campaigned tirelessly on your behalf. I
look forward to welcoming you.
>From Keith Locke MP, Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Green Party of
We salute your great courage and welcome your freedom.
We are deeply saddened by the huge sacrifice you have been forced to
make for telling the truth about Israel’s bomb. However, by standing
true to your principles, you have made a considerable contribution to
the struggle to free our planet of nuclear weapons.
We would be most honored to be able to host you in nuclear-free New
Zealand sometime in the near future if that proved possible.
>From Jarle Aarbakke, Rector and Randi Ronning Balsvik, history
professor, Tromsoe University, Norway
Since May 2001, Mordechai Vanunu is honorary doctor of the
University of Tromsoe, Norway, following a proposal by our department
of History. We look forward to his release on April 21 and hope to
receive him in Tromsoe as soon as suitable.
He has been subjected to inhuman punishment and his release will be
a day of joy for Vanunu himself, for our university and all who have
fought for his freedom.
In the 2001 doctoral ceremony, Meir Vanunu represented his brother.
Now we hope that Mordechai Vanunu will be able to come to Tromsoe
to receive our acclaim and that together we can focus on freedom of
expression and the struggle for peace.
>From Arundhati Roy, author
The world owes Mordechai Vanunu. We must welcome him back,
honor him, cherish him, love him and above all, protect him as best we
can. Of all of us who have campaigned and protested against nuclear
weapons – he is the bravest and the best. To him a big Zindabad.
All the best.
>From Harold Pinter, playwright and actor
To Mordechai Vanunu –
I wish to tell you of my great admiration for your endurance and your
dignity over all these terrible years. You are a remarkable man, a man
of principle and integrity and I send you my warmest wishes. I trust
you will be left in peace.
>From Melvyn Bragg, Broadcaster, writer and critic
I’m sorry not to be with you to celebrate the release of Mordechai
Vanunu. I greatly admire his integrity and have been impressed by the
wide support given to him, including the support of those who, like
myself, are friends of Israel in these most difficult times. I wish I could
be there to applaud his freedom. Best wishes.
>From Michael Mansfield, Q.C. International human rights lawyer
It is a bitter irony that the UK has waged war in Iraq on the pretext of
WMD, and the repeated violation of UN resolutions; when all the while,
as Mordechai has courageously highlighted, Israel has developed a
WMD program, both nuclear and biochemical, and in the absence of
UN inspection, and has flagrantly flouted numerous different UN
There will be no peace without justice and Mordechai’s staunch and
steadfast stand against injustice has provided enduring inspiration.
>From Molly Russell Smith
Yours is the voice that cried aloud, publishing death. Doggedly, in
pursuit of truth. You, the one, snatched from the crowd, languishing in
Ashkelon. Solitary in your cell. We may not have met you. Yet we
know you well. The headlines fade, the years pass. But we shall not
forget - Yours the palm pressed to the glass. We see it yet.
>From Sister Ardeth Platte, OP, currently imprisoned in the USA for
disarming weapons of mass destruction, letter from prison
Mordechai, you are in our hearts; please come to our home that we
may say thank you in person for revealing nuclear weapons in Israel
and doing 18 years of time for your truthtelling.
>From Emma Thompson, film and TV actor
The international actress, Emma Thompson, has sent a delightful
photograph of herself with love and best wishes to Mordechai Vanunu.
>From Daniel Ellsberg, USA whistleblower, the Pentagon Papers
Mordechai Vanunu is the preeminent hero and whistleblower of the
nuclear era. He is the one who consciously risked all he had in life to
warn his own country and the world of an existing, ongoing addition to
the nuclear dangers of the era. And he is the one who has actually
paid that price, a burden in many ways worse than death, for his heroic
and prophetic act, for doing exactly what he should have done and
what others should be doing. He is a prophet who deserves honor in
all the world.
Vanunu should long since have been released from solitary and from
prison, not because he had “suffered enough” but because what he did
was right for him to do under the circumstances. The cult and culture
of secrecy in every nuclear weapons state has endangered and
continues to threaten the survival of humanity. Vanunu’s challenge to
that wrongful and dangerous secrecy must be joined worldwide.
>From Julie Christie, film actor
Mordechai Vanunu acted out of honour and principle and he believed,
with the blessing of international law, to reveal to the world his
country’s secret plans for the stockpiling of hundreds of nuclear
warheads with no debate or authorization from its citizens. Since then
we have seen a country bombed for not revealing its supposed plans
for nuclear weaponry. But, for his actions, Mordechai Vanunu has
been incarcerated for nearly 18 years (12 in solitary confinement), a
horrific punishment for any crime and when applied to a whistleblower
like Vanunu, a barbarity is revealed. The world must not allow his
punishment to continue. He must be freed unconditionally today.
Fredrik S. Heffermehl, lawyer, International Free Vanunu Committee
Vanunu stands tall, a rare giant, not in nuclear physics and bomb
construction – he was a junior technician – but as a model world
citizen and a pioneer showing the way for increasing numbers of
whistleblowers, more and more also in the fields of weapons, war and
(Further background material on
Restrictions to be faced by Mordechai Vanunu on release
Mordechai Vanunu will face many restrictions on his release from
Ashkelon Prison, so many that his new freedom will be seriously
“ It is absolutely disgraceful that these restrictions are being imposed
on a man who has finished his 18 year sentence, has no charges to
face and has suffered so much already” said Rayna Moss of the Israeli
Free Vanunu Campaign.
These draconian restrictions have been imposed under the emergency
regulations passed by the British mandate of 1945.
1. Vanunu will have to register to live in an Israeli city of
2. He will have to give notice to the authorities if he
wishes to travel to another city.
3. He will not be allowed to leave Israel for 6 months.
This restriction will be reviewed at the end of 6 months
and could be renewed.
4. He will not be allowed to contact foreigners either by
phone or in person.
5. It is unclear whether his American adoptive parents,
who have been allowed to visit him while in custody,
will be allowed to speak to him when free.
6. He will not be allowed to go within 100 meters of any
embassy, visit any port of entry, come within 300
meters of any international boundary and he may not be
allowed to worship in a church of his choice.
Contact: Rayna Moss, 051 368 236
For more information, see
www.vanunu.co.uk, www.vanunu.com, www.vanunu.org