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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 07:36 GMT 08:36 UK
Vanunu ordered to stay in Israel
Mordechai Vanunu
Israelis still view Vanunu as a threat to security
Israel's Supreme Court has rejected a petition by former nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu to be allowed to leave the country.

Mr Vanunu was released from prison in April after serving 18 years for treason over his disclosures about Israel's nuclear weapons programme.

Mr Vanunu says that he has no more secrets to reveal and that the travel ban infringes his civil rights.

The Israeli government argues that he is still a security risk.

I don't like Israel, I don't want to live in Israel. I want to be free and to leave Israel
Mordechai Vanunu

Mr Vanunu was convicted of treason after he revealed details of the nuclear plant at Dimona to the UK's Sunday Times newspaper in 1986. He was subsequently abducted from Italy by Israeli agents.

In their petition to the court, the ex-prisoner's lawyers called for their client to be allowed to travel to the UK or US.

'Rights ignored'

A Christian convert, he has been staying at St George's Cathedral in Jerusalem since his release on 21 April.
VANUNU CURBS
No passport
May not leave Israel for a year
Contact with foreigners only by permission
Barred from foreign embassies
Media interviews not permitted
Banned from discussing nuclear secrets

Speaking outside the court on Monday, he said the judges had shown disregard for human rights.

"The court proved it does not respect freedom of expression, freedom of travel and other basic rights," he said.

Insisting he had no secrets to reveal about nuclear weapons, he added: "The only one who has is the Israeli government."

The former prisoner, who is widely despised in Israel as a traitor, said he did not feel at home there.

"My country is not Israel," he said.

"My country is outside of Israel. Israel didn't respect me for 18 years... I don't like Israel, I don't want to live in Israel. I want to be free and to leave Israel."

Israel does not officially confirm or deny the existence of its nuclear arsenal despite widespread evidence, including Mr Vanunu's revelations, that it possesses such a capacity.


SEE ALSO:
Vanunu 'wanted to avert holocaust'
29 May 04  |  Middle East
Defiant Vanunu celebrates freedom
21 Apr 04  |  Middle East
Vanunu speaks: Key quotes
21 Apr 04  |  Middle East
Vanunu: Hero or villain?
26 Apr 04  |  Have Your Say
Vanunu: Israel's nuclear telltale
20 Apr 04  |  Middle East
Israel's nuclear programme
22 Dec 03  |  Middle East


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