No happy new year for Mordechai

Mordechai Vanunu, an honorary member of the NUJ, who served 18 years in prison for revealing Israel’s secret nuclear programme, has been placed under house arrest pending criminal charges for allegedly breaching the terms of his 2004 release, which includes a ban on contacts with foreigners.

In 1986 Vanunu told his story to the Sunday Times and was tricked into travelling to Italy by a Mossad agent. There he was drugged and bundled off to Israel where he was charged with espionage and treason and found guilty. During his time in prison, much of it in solidarity, his cause was taken up the NUJ and Amnesty International (amongst many) and I was privileged to be on the delegation of supporters who welcomed him on his release from Ashkelon Prison in 2004.

Since then he has been harassed by the Israeli authorities, who will not let him leave the country. Mordechai remains unbowed, which the authorities hate and each time they arrest him they score another own goal by drawing attention to the fact that the country has nuclear weapons, a fact not lost on other powers in the region.

Meantime the London Socialist Film Co-Op is showing the Jenny Morgan’s film ‘Waiting for Mordechai’ on Sunday 14 February from 11.00am at the Renoir Cinema in Brunswick Square, Camden (nearest Tube Russell Square). It’s set a few days before his release as supporters from around the world gather to welcome him. The post-film discussion will be led by Jeremy Corbyn MP and Jenny Morgan and will I am sure, consider ways of putting further pressure on the British government to secure his real freedom.

Additional reading Duncan Campbell ‘A duty to speak up’ Guardian 2 January 2010. Go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/duncancampbell

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