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Friday 18th November 2005

To: Mr. Ophir Paz-Pines
Minister of the Interior,
2 Kaplan Street ,
Qiryat Ben-Gurion
P.O. Box 6158,
Jerusalem .

Dear Sir,

Mordechai Vanunu and Gush Shalom article

intimating his arrest 18.11.05

It is with utter dismay that I, and many other Vanunu Friends and Supporters, heard of the news today of Mordechai Vanunu's arrest. If I may make bold - Vanunu is not, by any means, forgotten by "the big world", a term used in a recent "Gush Shalom" article. On the contrary, his supporters internationally, of whom there are literally thousands, watch and wait for the day when he will be released, unconditionally, from the reins with which the Israeli authorities hold him hostage. That his arrest is based on an infringement of his restrictions can only be viewed as ridiculous.

On his release from prison in April 2004, he spoke immediately to the World Press – and, not unimportantly, they wanted to speak to him. Was this a missed opportunity by the authorities, one wonders, to request his immediate return to the confines of the prison from which he had just been released? Surely, his actions at that time were also an "infringement" of the restrictions placed upon him, given that he should not speak to the media, local or foreign, and have no contact with foreigners generally. How hard would it have been, however, under the gaze of the international media, to take any action against him at that particular, high-profile, point?

If the Israeli authorities believe that the eyes of many in the world are not fixed on this individual and the treatment that he is receiving at their hands, they should perhaps give it some thought.

Vanunu served his sentence for the "crime" he committed and in the eyes of most democratic institutions, which consider it only right that an individual, having served the term of their prison sentence, however decided, should be allowed to re-join society and become a contributing member once more, Vanunu's debt to society has been paid.

To continue the restrictions placed upon him, for the spurious reasons maintained, only serves to reflect shamefully upon Israel, and upon a regime which evidently would require him to continue paying.

It must have been a terrible dilemma for the authorities to release him from prison when they did, assuaged only by security in their knowledge that the sentence was going to continue; only the choice of "location" would differ.

"The big world" views his continuing confinement as morally reprehensible and an act of extreme vindictiveness. His reporting restrictions should be lifted; they violate the most basic of Human Rights - to have freedom of movement and freedom of expression. Mordechai Vanunu earned the Right to his total freedom.

He earned the Right to be able to leave his past behind and begin a new life elsewhere. Those of us in "the big world" view the imposition and renewal of the restrictions placed upon him, and his re-arrest for any infringement of them, as unjustified and morally bankrupt.

We, those who wish for Mordechai Vanunu's unfettered freedom, shall continue on the one hand, to protest, to watch and wait, while Israel, on the other, sadly continues to illustrate its lack of understanding of, and disregard for, the principles of Human Rights legislation, but more significantly, in so doing, continues to highlight to "the big world" its democratic status as an abominable sham.

-A Vanunu Friend and Supporter

PS Since April 2nd last year, 60,858 hits were recorded on the website of the British Campaign in support of the freedom of Mordechai Vanunu. That, I am sure you will agree, would seem to represent a not inconsiderable level of interest in Mordechai Vanunu. He remains, and will continue to remain, firmly in the sights of those ordinary people, all over the world, who care about him and about his continued oppression.

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