Israel releases nuclear whistleblower
Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, imprisoned 18 years for exposing Tel Aviv’s nuclear weapons, has been released after serving an extra three months in jail.
“All this harassing me and arresting me again and again is Israel’s problem, not my problem,” said Vanunu quoted by AP after his release on Sunday.
Although Vanunu had already spent 18 years in prison, an Israeli high court ruled that he must once again return to jail or do community service for violating the terms of his release by meeting with a foreigner.
Vanunu has refused to do community service in west al-Quds (Jerusalem) for fear of being “harassed by the Israeli population” in the west of the city.
Amnesty International censured Israel for sending Vanunu back to jail, calling him “a prisoner of conscience.”
In 1986, the nuclear technician was sentenced to 18 years in prison for exposing details of Israel’s nuclear program and the military activities at the top secret Dimona nuclear facility, where he once worked, providing convincing evidence that Israel possessed a nuclear arsenal.
Vanunu, who is now 55 years old, was released from prison in 2004 on probation after serving an 18-year sentence. However, he has been arrested several times since then for allegedly violating the terms of his release, which bars him from meeting with foreigners and speaking to the press.
The nuclear whistleblower has been nominated for the Noble Peace Prize but he has asked to be removed from the list since the Israeli President Shimon Peres once received the award in 1994.