16 December 2004: For immediate release
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed news that the students of the University of Glasgow have elected Mordechai Vanunu as their Rector. This honour must increase the pressure on the Israeli government to give Vanunu the freedom he deserves after 18 years in prison.
Mordechai Vanunu was a technician at Dimona, Israel’s nuclear installation and was imprisoned for 18 years, for revealing Israel’s nuclear weapons programme. 11 years were spent in solitary confinement. Vanunu was released from prison in April 2004. He has not been allowed to leave the country and his freedom has remained restricted, with the Israeli authorities forbidding him to speak with foreigners.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said:
“Mordechai Vanunu is an inspiration. He took a stand for peace and for the safety of the world. Glasgow University has paying an enormous and appropriate tribute to his bravery by making him Rector.
Eighteen years after Vanunu revealed Israel’s nuclear weapons programme to the world Israel is still allowed to neither confirm nor deny its nuclear arsenal, despite having an estimated 200 nuclear warheads. This situation exacerbates instability in the region and allows the Israeli government to wriggle out of the non-proliferation framework. ”
In a message to the European Social Forum in October, Mordechai Vanunu said:
“Our task today is to continue our struggle against nuclear weapons, to make the world free of nuclear weapons, reduce military production, reduce the army in every state, reduce the defence budgets and to make the society much more united by one good standard of human rights and freedom, abolish boundaries between states, countries, with freedom of movement for human beings, free trade and economic connection between all states, freedom of movement of knowledge to help every state move towards this age. One world, one human race, one freedom, free from nuclear weapons, living and succeeding in peace. One global village!”
This tribute comes only weeks after the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament named its national office ‘Mordechai Vanunu House’ and Vanunu gave a moving speech, over a live telephone link up, at the European Social Forum in London. Vanunu addressed the ESF meeting despite the Israeli authorities forbidding him to speak to foreigners.
Notes to editor:
1. For more information and interviews please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 07968 420859