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Israel Demands Release of Man Who Spied On US For Them — But Won't Provide Complete Freedom to Whistleblower Who Exposed Israel's Atomic Bomb Program

Mordecai Vanunu (Photo by Eileen Fleming)

Amnesty International called on Israel on Wednesday to lift restrictions on Mordecai Vanunu, a decade after he was released from an 18-year prison sentence for disclosing information to journalists about Israel's nuclear program.

"The authorities' continued punishment of Mordechai Vanunu appears to be purely vindictive," said Avner Gidron, senior policy adviser at Amnesty International. "The continued restrictions on his liberty have placed a severe strain on his mental and physical health and should immediately be lifted."

Vanunu, a former technician at Israel's nuclear reactor, is banned from leaving Israel and participating in Internet chats, and must seek permission to communicate with journalists or any foreign nationals. Amnesty International is calling on Israel to allow Vanunu to leave the country and exercise his rights to freedom of movement, expression and association. Israel says the restrictions are necessary to prevent Vanunu from divulging further secrets, but Vanunu says he has no further information to reveal.

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