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Nov-16-2010 16:49printcomments

Open Letter: Please Grant Mordechai Vanunu Free Departure Out of Israel

Vanunu is a former Israeli nuclear technician who was imprisoned for 18 years after revealing details of Israel's nuclear weapons program in 1986.

Mordechai Vanunu
Mordechai Vanunu

(BERLIN) - In this letter the signatories ask the two ministers to give Mordechai Vanunu free departure to enable him to participate in the ceremonial act for the bestowal of the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal on December 12th, 2010 in Berlin. Mordechai Vanunu is the laureate of the Carl von Ossietzky Medal 2010.

Allow him to receive the Carl‐von‐Ossietzky‐Medal 2010 personally At the Award Ceremony on December 12th this year in Berlin.

Honourable Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu,
Honourable Defence Minister Mr. Ehud Barak,
Honourable Defence Minister Mr. Eli Yishai,

We, the Signatories, use the bestowal of the Carl‐von‐Ossietzky‐Medal to Mordechai Vanunu as an opportunity to appeal to you: please grant this outstanding personality of your country, who urgently advised against the dangers of nuclear armament, free departure out of Israel to enable him the participation in the ceremonial act for the bestowal of the Carl‐von‐Ossietzky‐Medal on December 12th, 2010 in Berlin.

The international public learned about Mordechai Vanunu in 1985, right after he passed on information about the Israeli Negev nuclear research centre to a London newspaper. On March 27th, 1988, a first instance Israeli Criminal Court sentenced him to an 18‐year‐long imprisonment due to “support of the enemy in wartime” as well as “collection and delegation of secret information with intent to injure the security of Israel”. The lodged appeal against the decision was rejected by the Supreme Court. This happened against the testimonial of contemporary witnesses – among others British and US American nuclear weapons experts – that the knowledge of the convict would not have been sufficient to pose a security threat to Israel.

On April 24th, 2004, Mordechai Vanunu was released from custody after having served the full sentence – thereof 11 years of aggravated imprisonment by complete isolation. The imposed judicial constraints that were repeatedly prolonged include the strict prohibition to leave Israel and considerably narrow his free movement and freedom of expression.

Recently, the stated constraints were approved by the Supreme Court of Israel on October 11th, 2010. The judges rejected the defensors’ objection that Mordechai Vanunu’s knowledge concerning nuclear research became obsolete due to his dismissal in 1985 and the subsequent long imprisonment and therefore could not pose a threat to the security of Israel. To justify the maintenance of the ban of leaving the country, the verdict of October 13th, 2010 states that he continuously holds secret and security related knowledge which he could and indeed would reveal abroad.

We permit ourselves to recall that the former Prime Minister of your country, Ehud Olmert, already conceded in 2006 during his Germany visit that Israel does possess nuclear weapons.

Stranger than fiction Order Now
Mordechai Vanunu emphasizes down to the present day that he did not want to harm Israel. Instead, he acted out of deep concern regarding the dangers of artificially and for the construction of nuclear weapons rehashed plutonium – including threats to the Israeli population. This anxiety is shared by millions of people since the atomic bomb releases on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Against this background, as well as in the light of increasing tensions in the region, leading statesmen have repeatedly spoken out in favour for a complete nuclear disarmament and have proposed as a first step in this direction the creation of regional nuclear‐weapon‐free zones.

The reasons for which the Signatories on occasion of the bestowal of the Carl‐von‐Ossietzky‐Medal to Mordechai Vanunu appeal to you with this letter extend beyond policy of peace requests. We cannot think of any other case in a democratic State where after the complete serving of a sentence – with 18 years being a particularly high assessed imprisonment ‐ judicial requirements have been imposed that result in such a far‐reaching curtailment of fundamental rights that – in fact – these constraints equal a progressive prolongation of sentence. We deem it indispensable that in a democratic constitutional state a complete served imprisonment must lead on to the reinstatement of all civil and political rights of the convict.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights codifies in Art. 12 the fundamental right to be free in leaving and entering any country, including the own. Art. 14 paragraph 7 states furthermore: “No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country”.

We, the Signatories, appeal urgently to you to generously consider our request and to meet our desire to permit Mordechai Vanunu the right to leave Israel. Please grant Mordechai Vanunu the opportunity to accept the invitation of the International League for Human Rights to be her guest from 10th until 17th December 2010 in Berlin, in order to personally attend the ceremonial act for the bestowal of the Carl‐von‐Ossietzky‐Medal in 2010.

Thank you for your kind attention. We would be very thankful for an early reply.


Lawyer Otto Jäckel - Chairperson International Physician for the Prevention of Nuclear War - Germany

Prof. Dr. Fanny-M. Reisin - President International Physician for the Prevention of Nuclear War - Germany

Dr. med Angelika Claußen - Chairperson International Physician for the Prevention of Nuclear War - Germany

Initial signatories: Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1979, recipient of the Carl-von-Ossietzky- Medal 1976, Hans-Peter Dürr, Physician, recipient of the Alternative Nobel Prize 1987, Günter Grass, writer, sculptor, painter grafic artist, Nobel laureate in literature 1999, recipient of the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal 1967, Nina Hagen, singer, actress and song-writer, Fredrik S. Heffermehl, lawyer, author and peace activist, Harold (Harry) W. Kroto, chemist, Nobel laureate in chemistry 1996, Felicia Langer, lawyer and author, recipient of the Alternative Nobel Prize 1990 and the Bruno Kreiski Prize 1991, Volker Ludwig, playwright, intendant of the GRIPS theatre Berlin , recipient of the Order of Merit by the federal state Berlin 2007 as well as of the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal 1994, Luisa Morgantini, former Vice President of the European Parliament, Eberhard Richter, psychoanalyst and social philosopher, titular board member IPPNW, recipient of the Urania Medal 1993 and the Paracelsus Medal 2008, Jack Steinberger, physician, Nobel Peace Laureat 1988, Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, natural scientist, recipient of the German Environmental Prize 2008


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carter October 2, 2011 5:51 am (Pacific time)

Incredible this artikle i a year old and Vanunu is still waiting freedom

jimmy November 17, 2010 9:02 am (Pacific time)

but wait... they dont have nukes... whats the big deal?!?

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