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Israel nuclear whistleblower Vanunu placed under house arrest over TV interview

RT | September 10, 2015

Whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, who served 18 years for exposing details concerning Israel’s clandestine nuclear program in 1986, has been put under house arrest for giving an interview to local media, thus allegedly violating terms of his release.

The Magistrate’s Court in Jerusalem on Thursday confined the nuclear whistleblower to a seven-day house arrest, prohibiting him from using the internet or talking to the press, following a police investigation launched the previous day.

Local media report that the investigation was initiated by Shin Bet (the Israel Security Agency), which has been monitoring Vanunu’s activities since his release in 2004.

The arrest was prompted by an interview the whistleblower gave to the local Channel 2 TV station last week. The news channel said the interview’s content had been cleared for broadcast by the military censor. It added that police also asked for the unedited footage of the interview, suspecting that Vanunu had discussed sensitive information.

Channel 2 refused to hand it over, however, citing the media’s right to protect its sources. This principle is an “important element in the system of rights and freedoms on which a democratic government is based,” the station’s lawyer asserted, as quoted by the Haaretz newspaper.

Vanunu’s defense attorney, Yemima Abramovich, said that the interview was not a breach of his parole, as Vanunu had only been prohibited from talking to foreign journalists.

“He is allowed to talk to Israeli journalists,” she said, as quoted by Ynetnews, stressing that “the interview was approved by the military censor.”

“I’ve been Mordechai Vanunu’s lawyer for many years,” she added. “He is out of prison, but isn’t really free. It’s impossible for him to live a normal life.”

A senior Israeli security official told DPA news agency that, according to his release agreement, Vanunu was forbidden from sharing any classified information he had obtained as an employee at the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona, “even if he already published that information in the past.”

In the parts of the interview that were aired last Friday, Vanunu spoke about his personal life and motives for leaking information about the existence of Israel’s nuclear activities, which the country neither denies, nor admits. However, he didn’t go into detail about what he leaked to the British press in 1986.

It was a desire to “inform the citizens of the Middle East, the world, and the state of Israel” that had prompted him to act, Vanunu told Channel 2, saying he was horrified at the “danger” posed by the Israel’s nuclear weapons program while working there.

The African-born Israeli worked as a technician at the Negev Nuclear Research Center until 1985. He leaked the information, including photographs, about Israeli’s nuclear activities to The Sunday Times in 1986.

Israel’s spy agency, Mossad, infamously organized a complex 1986 operation to abduct Vanunu and smuggle him back to Israel. It involved a female agent in disguise seducing the whistleblower and luring him into Rome. Once there, he was injected with a paralyzing drug and transported to an Israeli reconnaissance vessel docked under the guise of a merchant ship.

After serving an 18 year prison sentence, he was released on parole under the terms of which he is prohibited from leaving the state of Israel and having contact with foreigners, including the press. He was imprisoned again for three months in 2010 on the grounds that he had contacted foreign agents.

Grant F. Smith from the Institute for Research of Middle Eastern policy told RT that Vanunu is the key witness to Israeli’s nuclear program, which the state has kept secret.

“Vanunu did something nobody else was ever able to do,” he said. “He was able to take photos inside of Dimona to the London Sunday Times, and even more surprising – they published them. He has been considered to be the key witness to the fact that there is a nuclear weapons program research and development going on [in Israel]. He was also there right at the point where, according to Department of Defense Documents released recently, they were beginning hydrogen bomb research.”


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September 10, 2015 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | , ,


  1. The effing Shin Bet can’t or won’t find the sadistic illegal-settler thugs who cremated the Dawabsheh family weeks ago, but it damn sure can get Vanunu with alacrity. Erase Zionism and all its operatives and agents!


    Comment by roberthstiver | September 11, 2015 | Reply

  2. Vanunu is one of the few people in the country with any common decency.


    Comment by traducteur | September 11, 2015 | Reply

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