JERUSALEM (JTA) — Mordechai Vanunu, who served 18 years in prison for leaking Israel’s nuclear secrets, has asked that his Israeli citizenship be revoked.
The request is related to a law passed by Israel’s Knesset in March under which those convicted of treason can lose their right to retain their Israeli citizenship. Vanunu was convicted in 1988 of treason and espionage.
In a letter sent to Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai, and released to the media over the weekend, Vanunu asked that his citizenship be stripped on the basis of the Citizenship Revocation Law.
"After the treatment and ‘care’ which I got from this country and its citizens, I cannot feel myself a wanted citizen here," Vanunu wrote.
"I request that you set me free of Israel, since Israel does not want me nor do I want Israel," he also wrote. "I have no interest in Israeli citizenship; I don’t want to go on living here."
Vanunu was jailed in Israel for 18 years for discussing details of his work as a Dimona technician with the British newspaper the Sunday Times of London. He reportedly revealed Israeli nuclear secrets and gave the newspaper photographs of the plant’s operation.
Under the terms of his parole, Vanunu is prohibited from leaving the country or approaching foreign embassies.