Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu was sentenced to 18 years in jail for revealing the country's nuclear secrets.
Mordechai Vanunu in 1986. He is now free
During his imprisonment he became a hero for the peace movement, though Israel still says it fears he could compromise the country's security.
Upon his release on Wednesday, he spoke to the journalists, supporters and opponents thronged outside the jail.
Here are excerpts:
I'm not speaking in Hebrew. If Israel doesn't let me speak to foreigners I am not speaking in Hebrew.
[From prepared statement] I am Mordechai Vanunu, the man behind the Sunday Times article from 5 October 1986. The article about Israel's nuclear weapons.
I was kidnapped in Rome, Italy by Israel's spy on 13 September and I was brought to Israel, arrived at... prison on 7 October. I was here in the prison from 7 October 1986 until today, 17-and-a-half years in very cruel, barbaric treatment by Israel's spy [agency] Mossad.
This prison is guided and controlled by Mossad. The guards are only obeying orders of Mossad. In this prison you have a Section 7 [run] by the Mossad.
I am not harming Israel. I am not interested in Israel
To all those who are calling me a traitor I am saying I am proud and happy to do what I did. I am very glad that I succeeded to do what I did... I don't have any secrets.
All this bullshit, blah blah blah, about secrets, is dead. My case is dead. The article was published. There are no more secrets. All the secrets were published and is in the hand of the whole world. All the world, every state, 180 states received these secrets. I am now ready to start my life.
I am not harming Israel. I am not interested in Israel. I want to tell you something very important. I suffered here 18 years because I am a Christian, because I was baptised into Christianity. If I was a Jew I wouldn't have all this suffering here in isolation for 18 years. Only because I was a Christian man.
I didn't say Israel should not exist. But Vanunu Mordechai says we don't need a Jewish state. Vanunu Mordechai doesn't want to live in Israel and doesn't need a Jewish state. It's for Jewish people to solve the problems with the Palestinians...
I said to the Shabak [Shin Bet - internal security services], the Mossad, you didn't succeed to break me, you didn't succeed to make me crazy...
I want the president of the United States, George Bush, and Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder, Vladimir Putin, all the leaders to do for my release from Israel, to leave Israel and now this day all those leaders should deal and speak about Israel's nuclear secrets.
Israel doesn't need nuclear arms, especially now that all the Middle East is free from nuclear arms
The time has come to end this silence and secret cooperation by the West, the United States, Canada and all Europe helping Israel and co-operating with Israel's secrets...
Israel doesn't need nuclear arms, especially now that all the Middle East is free from nuclear arms... My message today to all the world is open the Dimona reactor for inspections...
All those standing behind me, who supported me, who continued to be my friend for 18 years - all are heroes...
I am a symbol of the will of freedom. You cannot break the human spirit.