Vanunu demands Yishai revoke his Israeli citizenship

Man who spent 18 years in jail for passing nuclear secrets says according to Citizenship Law, he has lost right to be an Israeli citizen.

May 7, 2011 19:25
2 minute read.
Mordechai Vanunu

vanunu 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Mordechai Vanunu, the man who spent 18 years in jail after being convicted of treason and espionage, demanded that his Israeli citizenship be revoked in accordance with a new law by which those convicted of treason will lose the right to be Israeli citizens. Vanunu's demands came in a letter to Interior Minister Eli Yishai released to the media on Saturday.

"I have no interest in Israeli citizenship, I don’t want to go on living here," Vanunu, convicted of revealing secrets about Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the London-based Sunday Times, said in the letter. Vanunu was released from prison in 2004, but has been sent back several times for violating the terms of his release. He was prohibited from traveling abroad, coming into contact with foreigners and granting interviews.

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"Recently, the Knesset passed a law authorizing the revocation of Israeli citizenship for those convicted of espionage and treason. For 25 years I am waiting and demanding the restoration of my complete freedom. I am asking the State of Israel to revoke my citizenship. This wish for revocation of citizenship is neither new nor recent. Now, however, it is supported by the new Citizenship Revocation Law, passed on March 28, 2011," Vanunu said in the letter.

"I am asking and expecting that this law be enforced to the letter, and that my citizenship be revoked here and now, under the spirit of the law. I have no other citizenship, but I can easily get one, even during my enforced sojourn in Israel, and certainly if I leave the country. After the treatment and "care" which I got from this country and its citizens, I cannot feel myself a wanted citizen here," he added.

Vanunu has long expressed his desire to leave Israel but the state has refused his requests, fearful he may reveal more of the state's nuclear secrets.

"In the Israeli media and on the Israeli streets I am called "The Atomic Spy" and 'A traitor', harassed and persecuted as an Enemy of the State for 25 years. I feel myself still imprisoned, still a prisoner of war and a hostage, held by the state and the government. After 25 years of getting various harsh penalties from the state, I would like to see an end to punishments and the realization of my basic human right to freedom. I wish to exercise my right to the Freedom of Conscience and the Freedom of Choice, by choosing not to be a citizen of Israel," Vanunu stated.

" I have no interest in Israeli citizenship, I do not want to live here. I ask that you revoke my citizenship here and now. I request that you set me free of Israel, since Israel does not want me nor do I want Israel. All that I knew I told, already in 1986, to the English newspaper. I have no further confidential information. The time has come to let me leave Israel, after 25 years of imprisonment, a full quarter of a century!" the letter concluded.

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