Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Update on Whistleblower Vanunu

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Update on Whistleblower Vanunu

Article excerpt

MORDECAI VANUNU, who spent 18 years in an Israeli prison for providing evidence in 1986 of Israel's nuclear arsenal, has coffee at the American Colony Hotel's garden restaurant in occupied East Jerusalem most every day between 3 and 5 in the afternoon. In November 2006 the court established that Vanunu is permitted by Israeli Security to speak with foreigners on any topic except nuclear weapons. Vanunu gave an update on the appeal of his Freedom of Speech case on June 14, 2009.

When the whistleblower was released from prison on April 21, 2004, the Israeli military authorities imposed severe restrictions on his freedom. He continues to be banned from leaving the country and has been living in a dilapidated hotel for the last three years that provides nothing more than a roof, "a bed, a shower and a toaster."

Vanunu was sentenced to six months in jail in 2007 for speaking to foreign media and for attempting to travel to Bethlehem to attend Christmas Eve mass in 2004.

"They renewed the restrictions to not speak to foreigners until November, Vanunu said. "I meet foreigners every day. I am talking with people every day. [My appeal against three months in jail] was scheduled for January, then May 6 and June 18. …

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