Of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (Deutsche Sektion)
for Human Rights
(AEDH&FIDH Deutsche Sektion)
for the Prevention of Nuclear War
Please grant Mordechai Vanunu free departure out of Israel
Allow him to receive the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal 2010 personally
At the Award Ceremony on December 12th this year in Berlin
To the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,
To the Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak and
To the Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai
Honourable Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu,
Honourable Defence Minister Mr. Ehud Barak,
Honourable Defence Minister Mr. Eli Yishai,
We, the Signatories, use the bestowal of the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal to Mordechai Vanunu as an opportunity to appeal to you: please grant this outstanding personality of your country, who urgently advised against the dangers of nuclear armament, free departure out of Israel to enable him the participation in the ceremonial act for the bestowal of the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal on December 12th, 2010 in Berlin.
The international public learned about Mordechai Vanunu in 1985, right after he passed on information about the Israeli Negev nuclear research centre to a London newspaper. On March 27th, 1988, a first instance Israeli Criminal Court sentenced him to an 18-year-long imprisonment due to “support of the enemy in wartime‚” as well as “collection and delegation of secret information with intent to injure the security of Israel‚”. The lodged appeal against the decision was rejected by the Supreme Court. This happened against the testimonial of contemporary witnesses among others British and US American nuclear weapons experts that the knowledge of the convict would not have been sufficient to pose a security threat to Israel.
On April 24th, 2004, Mordechai Vanunu was released from custody after having served the full sentence thereof 11 years of aggravated imprisonment by complete isolation. The imposed judicial constraints that were repeatedly prolonged include the strict prohibition to leave Israel and considerably narrow his free movement and freedom of expression. Recently, the stated constraints were approved by the Supreme Court of Israel on October 11th, 2010. The judges rejected the defensors‚Äô objection that Mordechai Vanunu‚Äôs knowledge concerning nuclear research became obsolete due to his dismissal in 1985 and the subsequent long imprisonment and therefore could not pose a threat to the security of Israel. To justify the maintenance of the ban of leaving the country, the verdict of October 13th, 2010 states that he continuously holds secret and security related knowledge which he could and indeed would reveal abroad.
We permit ourselves to recall that the former Prime Minister of your country, Ehud Olmert, already conceded in 2006 during his Germany visit that Israel does possess nuclear weapons.
Mordechai Vanunu emphasizes down to the present day that he did not want to harm Israel. Instead, he acted out of deep concern regarding the dangers of artificially and for the construction of nuclear weapons rehashed plutonium including threats to the Israeli population. This anxiety is shared by millions of people since the atomic bomb releases on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Against this background, as well as in the light of increasing tensions in the region, leading statesmen have repeatedly spoken out in favour for a complete nuclear disarmament and have proposed as a first step in this direction the creation of regional nuclear-weapon-free zones.
The reasons for which the Signatories on occasion of the bestowal of the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal to Mordechai Vanunu appeal to you with this letter extend beyond policy of peace requests.
We cannot think of any other case in a democratic State where after the complete serving of a sentence with 18 years being a particularly high assessed imprisonment – judicial requirements have been imposed that result in such a far-reaching curtailment of fundamental rights that in fact these constraints equal a progressive prolongation of sentence. We deem it indispensable that in a democratic constitutional state a complete served imprisonment must lead on to the reinstatement of all civil and political rights of the convict. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights codifies in Art. 12 the fundamental right to be free in leaving and entering any country, including the own. Art. 14 paragraph 7 states furthermore: “No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country‚”.
We, the Signatories, appeal urgently to you to generously consider our request and to meet our desire to permit Mordechai Vanunu the right to leave Israel. Please grant Mordechai Vanunu the opportunity to accept the invitation of the International League for Human Rights to be her guest from 10th until 17th December 2010 in Berlin, in order to personally attend the ceremonial act for the bestowal of the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal in 2010.
Thank you for your kind attention. We would be very thankful for an early reply.
Lawyer Otto Jäckel Chairperson International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms – Germany
Prof. Dr. Fanny-M. Reisin President International League for Human Rights – Germany
Dr. med Angelika Claußen Chairperson International Physician for the Prevention of Nuclear War – Germany
Initial signatories: Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Irish peace activist, Nobel Peace Prize 1979, Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal 1976; Hans-Peter Dürr, physician, Alternative Nobel Prize 1987; Dan Ellsberg, US-American writer and peace activist, Right Livelihood Award 2006 (Alternative Nobel Prize) and Whistleblower Award 2003, IALANA and German Federation of Scientists; Johan Galtung, Norwegian peace researcher, founder of the TRANSCEND-Network for peace, Right Livelihood Award 2006 (Alternative Nobel Prize) 1987, Ghandi Prize 1993; Günter Grass, writer, sculptor, painter grafic artist, Nobel Literature Prize 1999, Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal 1967; Fredrik S. Heffermehl, Norwegian lawyer, author and peace activist; Stéphane Hessel, French resistance fighter, survivor of the concentration camp Buchenwald, Diplomat und Lyriker, involved in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948; Ronnie Kasrils, South African wirter, politician, activist, 2004-2008 Minister of South African Intelligence and Services and member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC; Harold (Harry) W. Kroto, British chemist, Nobel Chemistry Prize 1996; Felicia Langer, Israeli lawyer, author, Right Livelihood Award 2006 (Alternative Nobel Prize) 1990, Bruno Kreisky Prize 1991; Volker Ludwig, playwright, intendant of the GRIPS theatre Berlin, Order of Merit by the federal state Berlin 2007, Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal 1994; Michael Mansfield, British Queen’s Counsel (QC), English barrister; Cynthia Ann McKinney, US-American Politician, former US Congresswoman and Member of the US House of Representatives, 2008 Green Party presidential candidacy; Luisa Morgantini,Italian politician, activist, former Vice President of the European Parliament; Horst-Eberhard Richter, psychoanalyst and social philosopher, titular board member IPPNW, recipient of the Urania Medal 1993 and the Paracelsus Medal 2008, Jack Steinberger, US-American physician, Nobel Physics Prize 1988, Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, natural scientist, recipient of the German Environmental Prize 2008