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About the Vanunu Freedom Ride

Dear Mordechai,

I hope you are well and in good spirits. We are all thinking of you here and wish you the very best for the 1st of May.

I am just writing a quick note and sending a few photos of the Vanunu Freedom Ride. I really loved the picture of you wearing the T-shirt!

We had a fantastic response from the public who saw our van and the cyclists. Many people stopped to ask what we were doing and why. A lot of people knew about you already, and we were able to tell them what is happening to you now. A lot of young people who were maybe small children or not even born when you were imprisoned were really shocked to hear what has happened to you. People even ran out of their shops to give us money and congratulate us! We linked the issue of your case with the general issue about nuclear weapons in the Middle East as well as Britain's own nuclear missiles.

We had a rally near the Israeli Embassy, and Tony Benn (former Cabinet Minister) came to speak and read out your message. We then handed in a letter about you to 10 Downing Street - I am also including it here below.

As well as local press articles, we got a mention in an article about you in The Guardian, as well as a letter.

I see that you already have some pictures from Pam Parsons on your website, but I am sending some others now. We will be updating our website very soon with lots more photos and news about the Ride -

I hope you enjoy them.

Best and warmest wishes,


Faslane/Glasgow-London April 2006

Friday 21st April 2006

The Rt Hon Tony Blair, Prime Minister,
10 Downing Street,

Dear Prime Minister,

Over the past two weeks we have been cycling from Faslane Nuclear base in Scotland to the Israeli Embassy and here to Downing Street in order to highlight the case of Mordechai Vanunu, Israel's nuclear whistle-blower. In our non-violent action, we have been pointing openly to the injustices that he continues to suffer in Israel because of his opposition to nuclear proliferation and his campaign for a nuclear-free world. We chose Faslane because it is the home port for all four British Trident nuclear armed submarines.

The story of Mordechai Vanunu is well-known throughout the world. The sordid details of his kidnapping in Italy, illegal transportation to Israel while shackled and drugged, his secret trial, his imprisonment in solitary confinement for eleven and a half years, total imprisonment for seventeen and a half years and his continued persecution after release are also well-known facts.

Mordechai Vanunu is still languishing, an unfree man, in Israel. The Israeli government has imposed restrictions on his freedom that defy analysis. So, two years after his release, he is still forbidden to speak to foreigners, travel freely even within the boundaries of Israel and denied the right of entry to any other country. The State of Israel has also imposed other weasel restrictions on his freedom, that are equally unjust, vindictive and indefensible.

Israel, as you well know, is in violation of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights in having imposed these restrictions.

Article 13 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights declares that everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the state and the right to leave any country including his or her own and to return to it.

Article 19 states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, also that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

The present sanctions against Mordechai Vanunu violate these two Articles of the UN Declaration.

It was not the fault of the whistle-blower that, in 1986, Israel had hidden away the sixth-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. Nor was it his fault that Israel was in denial of this truth. It is not his fault today that Israel still adopts a policy of "neither affirming nor denying" its nuclear arsenal while Britain and the international community turns a blind eye. This is a charade. Look up any worthwhile encyclopaedia and you can read that Israel is a nuclear State.

Vanunu has no secrets. You know it, Israel knows it, we know it. You know that Israel’s persecution of him is wrong. Still, because Israel has the power and the patronage of the world's most powerful State, it acts against conscience, decency, morals and righteousness. Israel wields its power, not justice, over him. But Might is not Right and the pendulum of power swings fast from side to side. Today's winners are tomorrow's losers. What is important in the human family is that values of decency, respect and goodness are remembered by both losers and winners to the advantage of both.

As cyclists who have pedalled over 500 miles to be here today, we call on you to go the extra mile – use your influence to end the persecution of Mordechai Vanunu.

With best personal wishes,
Vanunu Freedom Ride

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