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Whistleblower sent back to jail for giving interviews to press

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

Decision to Send Israeli Whistleblower Back to Jail "Senseless and Inhumane" Says IFJ

The International Federation of Journalists today condemned as "senseless and inhumane" the decision by an Israeli court to send Mordechai Vanunu, the man who told the world that Israel had developed nuclear weapons, back to jail - three years after he completed an 18-year sentence for the original offence.

"Mordechai Vanunu has served his sentence and now he is being victimised for the crime of speaking to journalists," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "It is senseless and inhumane to return him to prison because he acts according to his conscience."

Vanunu received his original sentence after telling the British Sunday Times about his work at the Dimona nuclear weapons plant, revealing the truth about Israel's nuclear arsenal.

He completed his sentence in 2004, but he has been found to be in breach of parole terms that forbade him from contacts with foreign nationals or giving interviews to the press.

Yesterday he was found guilty by a magistrate's court in Jerusalem of giving interviews to international media outlets over the past three years.

"This is a man who wants to leave Israel, who wants to get on with his life, and who is being denied fundamental human rights," said White. "He has nothing to say that can possibly compromise the security of Israel, yet he continues to be victimised."

The IFJ represents about 600,000 journalists in 115 countries worldwide.

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