Israel’s top court barred a nuclear whistleblower from leaving the country over fears that he may leak more secrets, the London Guardian reports.
The Israeli Supreme Court ruling was in response to Mordechai Vanunu’s bid to visit the United Kingdom, where he had hoped to address British politicians and a conference organized by Amnesty International, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.
Vanunu served nearly two decades in prison for supplying a British newspaper with details and images of Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility, where he had worked as a technician. He was freed in 2004, but sentenced in 2010 to three more months of jail time for breaking restrictions authorities had placed on his movements and communications.
The latest court decision affirms an Israeli interior ministry argument that permitting Vanunu to travel abroad would enable him to divulge more details on Israel’s nuclear capabilities, potentially harming the country and its populace, according to the Guardian. Israel is believed to hold the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, but the country has never officially confirmed possessing such weapons.
Vanunu’s lawyer denounced the court’s ruling in comments to Amnesty International.
“Upholding these undemocratic and ridiculous restrictions, for the past 10 years, after Vanunu had served a prison sentence of 18 years, has nothing to do with the security of the state,” according to Avigdor Feldman, the whistleblower’s defense attorney.
Feldman argued that the limitations “are vindictive and cruel steps which serve one purpose — to make an outcast of Vanunu, and destroy him as a human being and as a true anti-nuclear activist.”
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