Call on Israeli Government to Free Mordechai Vanunu and End Thirty-Year Persecution: Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate
NOBEL LAUREATES, 16 May 2016
Press Release – 11 May 2016
Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire Calls on Israeli Government to Free Israeli Nuclear Whistle Blower Mordechai Vanunu and End Its Thirty-Year Persecution
“On 8 May 2016 the Jerusalem Magistrate Court charged Mordechai Vanunu with breaching the ongoing severe and arbitrary restrictions against his rights to freedom of movement and expression. The Israeli Court charged Vanunu with meeting two US nationals three years ago, for giving an interview to Israeli broadcaster Channel 2 in Sep 2015 (for which he was punished on the same month), and also for changing his residence (within the same building!) without informing the police.
“Mordechai Vanunu, an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award and of numerous other awards from the international community in recognition of his courage in following his conscience and revealing to the world in 1984 that Israel was building nuclear bombs, continues to be persecuted by the Israeli government. He is considered by many people around the world as a man of courage and bravery to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for his truth telling regarding Israeli nuclear weapons.
“When Mordechai Vanunu was released from prison in 2004 after serving an 18-year sentence. But instead of being allowed to leave Israel as he wishes, severe restrictions were imposed upon him. Each year these restrictions are renewed by an Israeli court, and this year yet further charges were brought. Mordechai Vanunu has no information that would be damaging to the Israeli government, the whole world being aware of its nuclear programme. However, Israel continues to persecute and give him no hope or indication that he will ever be allowed to leave Israel and join his wife in Norway.
“A few years ago I asked an Israeli friend why the government refuses to let Vanunu leave the country. The reason she gave was that ‘the Israeli government don’t trust their own people and he serves as an example to all, not to step out of line or challenge their policies’. The policy seems to be working not only for the Israeli public but also for the international community. Those in power could ‘on the stroke of a pen’ ensure his freedom, but there is a deadening silence on the subject of Vanunu and the Israeli nuclear weapons programme. No voices are raised in defence of his freedom (after 30 years of persecution by Israel) and it is to all our shame that the international political/spiritual leadership continue to abide by the rule: ‘WHATEVER YOU SAY – SAY NOTHING’ when it comes to the Israeli government’s persecution of a man of conscience, a good man.”
The Peace People began in 1976 as a protest movement against the ongoing violence in Northern Ireland. Its three founders were Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown. Over 100,000 people were involved in the initial movement and two of the founders, Mairead and Betty, received the Nobel Peace Prize for that year. Since its inception, the organization has been committed to building a just, peaceful society through nonviolent means – a society based on respect for each individual, and that has at its core the highest standards of human and civil rights.
Mairead Corrigan Maguire, co-founder of Peace People, is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from www.wipfandstock.com. She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See: www.peacepeople.com.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 16 May 2016.
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