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Nuclear informant Vanunu returns to jail
By Ronen Medzini
More than six years since leaving prison gates, Mordechai Vanunu, the nuclear informant, appeared in court in Jerusalem on Sunday to serve a three-month prison term imposed on him after he was found guilty of contacting foreign agents in 2007.
At the entrance to the court, Vanunu gave a statement to the press with a message to the Mossad and the Shin Bet, `What you didn`t receive in the 18 years that I sat in prison, you won`t get now in three months. You want to teach me a lesson? I cannot accept any violation of my freedom of expression.`
Vanunu read from a page he had pre-prepared with a list of people he claimed are not protecting his freedom of expression.
`Shame on you, Israel, and the stupid Shin Bet and Mossad spies who are returning me to jail after 24 years in which I have spoken only the truth. Shame on you, democracy, the Knesset, synagogues, the world media. Shame on you, all the Arabs who are allowing me to return to jail. Shame on you, US Senate and Congress and International Atomic Energy Agency Chairman Mohammad El-Baradei for not safeguarding my freedom. Shame on you, all religions, the stupid Jewish, Christian, and Muslim spies,` Vanunu said.
`They are torturing me psychologically`
After making his statement, Vanunu was taken by security guards to a detention hall prior to his imprisonment, but not before shouting `freedom` in English. He added that he has not felt free since being released from jail.
`Even in east Jerusalem they follow me. Everywhere. You can`t call this freedom. They want to control Vanunu; they want him to be in jail. The Shin Bet rules in jail. I beg of you, prison guard, to protect me, so that they don`t torture me psychologically like they did in the past. They (the Shin Bet) are everywhere. They recruit everyone, even the prisoners,` said Vanunu.
He added, `Freedom is a basic part of human rights. I am not an animal. You punished me in the past, but I cannot accept a violation of my freedom of expression.`
He concluded his statement with a message to the Israeli press: `The Israeli media is all stupid. Half are spies and half are spies` puppets.`
Vanunu spoke with journalists from abroad, and was found guilty of violating the limitations imposed on him when he was released in 2004. About six months ago, he was arrested again during a meeting with a Norwegian woman in Jerusalem`s Ambassador Hotel.
`The Shin Bet knew about the relationship, which has nothing to do with spying, but is a relationship between a man and a woman. By chance, she is Norwegian,` said his lawyer then.
At first, Vanunu was sentenced to six months in prison for the violation. Jerusalem District Court shortened the sentence to three months in prison, with the option that he perform community service instead of sitting behind bars.
The Supreme Court asked that the option be examined that he perform community service in east Jerusalem out of fear of physical harm should he perform his service in a location frequented by Jews.
Ultimately, Vanunu was offered to do community service in west Jerusalem. However, Vanunu insisted not to perform community service in a Jewish neighborhood, and was sentenced to jail time by the court at the behest of the State Prosecution.
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