JERUSALEM (Oct. 14)
An international group of scientists, lawyers and human rights activists gathered this week for a conference in Tel Aviv, where they called on Israel to release Mordechai Vanunu.
Vanunu is serving an 18-year sentence for disclosing Israel’s nuclear weapons capabilities to the Times of London.
Vanunu, a technician employed at Israel’s nuclear facility at Dimona, was lured from London to Rome in 1986 and kidnapped by Israeli agents, who brought him to Israel.
Among those attending the first international conference demanding Vanunu’s release was Joseph Rotblat, who had worked on the first atomic bomb.
Rotblat, who was awarded last year’s Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to ban nuclear weapons, told the gathering that Vanunu’s sentence did not fit the crime.
"Vanunu is not a traitor, but a whistleblower," said Rotblat.
Vanunu, who was convicted after being tried in secret, has spent 10 years in solitary confinement.
He is not permitted to talk to or be photographed by the media, but he nonetheless managed to have a note smuggled out and read at the conference.
"I am happy for revealing what I revealed," the note said.