Mordechai Vanunu

On July 2nd an Israeli court sentenced Mordechai Vanunu to six months imprisonment (plus another 6 months suspended) for violating a ban on speaking to foreigners.

In 1986 he received an 18-year sentence after telling the Sunday Times about his work as a technician at the Dimona nuclear reactor, with the disclosures tearing away the veil of secrecy around an assumed Israeli nuclear arsenal. After completing his sentence in 2004, his parole terms forbade him from holding contacts with foreign nationals or giving interviews to the press. Israel limited his movements and personal contacts after his release from jail on the grounds that he might reveal new details of his past work at Dimona.

He has been found guilty of giving interviews to international media outlets over the past three years. "While returning a man to prison after he served 18 years there does not bring joy to anyone; there was no other choice but to take this step to make clear that the nation will defend its secrets and protect its security," the prosecutor, Dan Eldad, said in a statement issued by the justice ministry. The statement read: "The order stemmed from the fact that the accused had hoarded in his memory classified information that has not been released, and the release of which could harm the security interests of Israel."

Mordechai Vanunu has insisted he only wants to pursue a peaceful anti-nuclear campaign. "All I want is to be free, to leave the country," he said. The court held over his serving the sentence pending any appeal, which Mordechai has until September to decide whether or not to launch.


Actions you can take:

       Write to him at PO Box 20102, Herodotus Post Office, East Jerusalem 91384.

       Protest to the Israeli Ambassador, Zvi Heifetz: write to Israeli Embassy, 2 Palace Green, London W8 4QB; 'phone 020 7957 9500 or email

       Visit the 10 Downing Street petition site

       Ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 1813 (see below).