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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Nuclear whistleblower faces fresh charges, 30 years on

Comment: Whether Edward Snowden is actually a genuine whistle-blower or as we suspect, merely a CIA figurehead of a 'limited hangout' operation will no doubt be eventually be known. Either way, he's not in Mordechai Vanunu's league. 


The Guardian

Among all the talk of whistleblowers as heroes - Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, the Panama Papers leaker - one is rarely mentioned. 

Mordechai Vanunu came to Britain in 1986 to tell the Sunday Times the story of the nuclear weapons facility at Dimona in the Negev desert in southern Israel. 

Walking around London, frustrated by the time the newspaper seemed to be taking to run his story, he was lured by “Cindy”, a woman from Mossad. They flew together to Italy where he was kidnapped, drugged, and smuggled out of the country to Israel.

He was sentenced to 18 years in jail for revealing details of Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons programme. He spent more than a decade in solitary confinement.

He was released in 2004 but banned from speaking to foreigners without official permission, and prevented from leaving the country.

Last Sunday Vanunu, now 61, was charged with violating the terms of his release. He was charged with meeting two Americans at a hotel in east Jerusalem in 2013 without seeking permission to do so, with moving apartments in 2014 without notifying the police, and in 2015 for giving an interview to Israel’s Channel 2 TV in which he disclosed what was described as “classified information that was cut out by the censors”.

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