Mordechai Vanunu’s cruel treatment
Letters, 17 May 2010
On 11 May the nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu was sentenced to a further three months in prison, to start on 23 May. This latest sentence follows his objection to doing community service in West Jerusalem, where he reasonably feared for his safety. He was quite prepared to work in East Jerusalem, but this compromise was denied him by the supreme court. This most recent court hearing arose because Vanunu had been charged with breaking the draconian restrictions imposed on him ever since his release, in 2004, from his 18-year prison sentence – 11½ of which were spent in solitary confinement. These cruel and arbitrary restrictions forbade Vanunu freedom of movement, expression and association, in complete contravention of international law and his human rights. The continuing and outrageous harassment of Vanunu, for telling the world the truth of Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons, all of 24 years ago, comes right at the start of the 2010 negotiations, at the United Nations in New York, to strengthen not only the international ban on nuclear weapons but also the 1968 non-proliferation treaty. This cynical treatment of Vanunu is a clear indication, once again, that Israel cares nothing for human rights legislation, nor any attempts to limit the possession, development and general spread of nuclear weapons.
Tony Benn, Ben Birnberg, Jeremy Dear, Bruce Kent, Jenny Morgan, Susannah York and Ernest Rodker