Mordechai Vanunu
Mordechai Vanunu Flash 90

Convicted spy Mordechai Vanunu has filed a petition with the High Court to be allowed to travel abroad. The reason for the trip, said Vanunu, is to visit his wife's family. Earlier this year, Vanunu, who has converted to Christianity, married his long-time Norwegian girlfriend Kristin Joachimesen, and wishes to accompany her on a family visit to Norway.

Vanunu, a former nuclear technician, served 16 years in prison for treason and espionage after revealing Israel’s nuclear secrets to the foreign press. Security services say he possesses sensitive information which could compromise state security.

Since his release from prison, Vanunu has been subject to numerous administrative limitations on his movement, among them a prohibition on his traveling abroad. He also has to inform authorities 48 hours in advance before moving, and he is not allowed to participate in Internet chats. In the past, he was also prevented from meeting with individuals from abroad, but that prohibition was relaxed several years ago.

Officials believe that Vanunu still has a great deal of information about Israel's nuclear program that he has not yet released. He was first arrested in 1988, when he revealed details of Israel's nuclear program to the British press.

In his current petition, Vanunu claims that preventing him from traveling abroad harms his basic human rights. According to his attorneys, “the state has never proven that our client has harmed the security of Israel.”

Vanunu does not deny that if he is allowed to travel abroad that he will discuss his work as a nuclear techician in Israel. “Preventing me from meeting with members of the media to discuss information that is publicly known is not defense of the state, but the persecution of an individual,” he said in the petition. “What would be the profit to the state of preventing discussion of this information?”

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