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Israel still cracking down on Mordechai Vanunu

30 years on || Israel claims nuclear whistle-blower Vanunu still a security threat Mordechai Vanunu’s attorney admits his client is a ‘provocateur’ but has no intention of revealing state secrets. Haaretz,By Revital Hovel | Dec. 26, 2013
  Twenty-eight years after he left his job at the nuclear reactor in Dimona, the state still maintains the information that whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu possesses is still relevant, and that its revelation would endanger Israel’s security.

On Wednesday, the High Court of Justice discussed the seventh petition to be filed by Vanunu against the court order prohibiting his exit from Israel, even to the occupied territories. Vanunu is also forbidden to talk to foreigners, even in Israel, without receiving advance permission…..
Vanunu was convicted in March 1988 of treason and espionage, and sentenced to 18 years in jail. He served 11 and a half years in isolation for fear that he would disclose information to unauthorized sources. In April 2004, he was released but forbidden to leave the country…..

“We are talking about information gathered about the nuclear reactor in Dimona,” Vanunu’s attorney, Avigdor Feldman, said during the proceedings Wednesday. “The work ended in 1985 – in other words, [nearly] 29 years ago. This is information which has expired. To come and say today, ‘This man cannot leave the country’ – that doesn’t want him and that he doesn’t want – ‘and live in another country and complete his life’ – although he isn’t old, he has a partner and wants to marry her – ‘because we are afraid that he will disseminate secrets’? What proof is there of that?

“The state is presenting us,” Feldman continued, “with the fact that Mordechai Vanunu writes online that he is willing to speak to any foreigner who will talk to him, referring to the other restriction – namely the fact that Mordechai Vanunu is not permitted to speak on any subject in the world, not necessarily about nuclear weapons, with foreigners. This is Vanunu’s way of fighting against this prohibition. Perhaps this way is not acceptable to us, and in effect constitutes a violation, but it’s his way of fighting back.”

Feldman added that although Vanunu is being provocative, “he doesn’t cross the red line.

“There isn’t a single case in the course of all the years of his release where it was claimed that he revealed some secret, or that he harmed state security,” Feldman told the court. “It’s true that he’s a provocateur and he behaves cynically. But he is still committed to his promise not to harm state security.

“….. If he violated the court orders, why isn’t he put on trial?

“He says he’s willing to be tried, but they aren’t doing that. I don’t know why. Maybe there’s a negative impact if he’s returned to prison again.

“You should be aware that interest in him in Israel is very limited. There’s an organized group that thinks he’s a serious person, that he’s a person who should be hea..rd. They see him as someone who expresses opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the State of Israel also supports that position.”….

Part of the proceedings took place only in the presence of the judges and state representatives, with Vanunu and the public asked to leave the courtroom. The petition continues.

December 27, 2013 - Posted by | civil liberties, USA

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