Vanunu Stages Hunger Strike

Mordechai Vanunu, accusing his jailers of cruel treatment, has gone on a hunger strike, his brother, Asher Vanunu, told reporters after visiting him at Ramle prison Sunday.

Vanunu, a former technician at the Dimona nuclear facility, is on trial for allegedly selling Israeli nuclear secrets to a British newspaper. His brother said he told him and other family members on their first visit that he was being punished for communicating with reporters when he was driven to Jerusalem District Court two weeks ago to be remanded in custody for the duration of his trial.

On that occasion, Vanunu displayed the palm of his hand on which was a printed message that he had been kidnapped by Israeli agents in Rome last September 30.

“They bring me food like a dog, isolate me for 23 hours a day in a closed room, trying to break me. I don’t need their food and I am therefore going on a hunger strike,” Asher said his brother told him. He also quoted his brother as saying he received no money from the British newspaper which published his story alleging that Israel has been manufacturing nuclear weapons for 20 years.

The prisoner maintained that he gave the information because his conscience was disturbed by “all that is going on in the atomic plant.” According to Vanunu’s brother, “Moti (Mordechai) is not a spy but a naive person who tried to improve the country. He believes our leaders are not sufficiently trustworthy, and he therefore tried to do something which would arouse Israelis from their sleep.”

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