Nobel peace laureates call on Israel to release whistleblower

The Nobel Women’s Initiative is calling on the Israeli government to lift the restrictions placed on nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu – including a court order preventing the former nuclear technician from leaving the country.

Israeli officials jailed Vanunu in 1986, after he reportedly disclosed to media the inner workings of Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant. Vanunu spent 18 years in jail, including 10 years in solitary confinement.

Since being released in 2004, Vanunu still faces severe restrictions that violate his rights to freedom of movement, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly. In 2011, the high court of Israel barred him from emigrating from Israel on the grounds that he still poses a threat to national security.

Vanunu maintains that he has revealed all that he knows about the Israeli nuclear programme. His supporters note that he information Vanunu had access to in 1986 is now available to the public, and is therefore out-of-date and irrelevant.

Israel has refused to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty or to allow international surveillance of the Dimona plant in the Negev desert of southern Israel.

The Nobel Women’s Initiative urges the Israeli government to fulfill its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by allowing Vanunu to travel outside of Israel, and live without restrictions that curtail his freedoms of expression and assembly. Vanunu’s wife resides in Norway.